Good Health Blog

One Can. Thirty Eight Teaspoons…

- November 11, 2018

Drinking just one 360ml (12 ounce) sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent, a European study contends.

As an exercise in understanding the amount of refined sugar content in soft drink I decided to measure out the amount of sugar that is listed on the side the commonest soft drink sold world wide. With my children observing and using an accurate digital kitchen scale, my ten year old son started counting the teaspoons. Even allowing for the inaccuracy of the spoon size everyone was astonished. At thirty eight teaspoons he had measured the sugar in one can of soft drink.

I suggest every family does this exercise. The impact on my children was significant.

The increased risk of developing diabetes associated with having one sugar-sweetened soft drink a day fell to 18 percent when the investigators took into account people’s total calorie intake and body-mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Both total calorie intake and BMI are believed to play a role in the link between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and diabetes risk. The fact that diabetes risk fell only slightly when these two factors were taken into account could indicate that the effect of sugar-sweetened soft drinks on diabetes goes beyond their impact on body weight.

The findings are published in the April 24 issue of the journal Diabetologia.

The study found an association between consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and heightened risk of type 2 diabetes. It did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Consumption of pure or diluted fruit juice was not significantly associated with diabetes risk, according to the report.

The 22 percent increased risk of diabetes among Europeans who drink sugar-sweetened soft drinks is similar to previous research showing that North Americans who consume these types of beverages have a 25 percent increased risk of diabetes, the researchers said in a journal news release.