Soda & diabetes.
Regular-soda drinkers have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but diet-soda drinkers have no increased risk and coffee drinkers have a lower risk.
Researchers tracked more than 40,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. After 20 years, those who had been consuming the most regular soda--an average of one can, glass, or bottle a day--had a 24 percent higher risk of diabetes than those who never drank regular soda.
Replacing one regular soda a day with one cup of coffee (regular or decaf) would lower diabetes risk by 17 percent, estimated the researchers. A previous study had suggested that coffee may reduce risk by decreasing inflammatory factors.
At first, diet-soda drinkers appeared to have a higher risk of diabetes. In the past, researchers had speculated that the drinks' sweetness might stimulate an appetite for sweet foods. But the link with diet drinks disappeared when the scientists adjusted for the impact of other factors. They suggest that people may have been drinking diet sodas to try to lose weight because they had high blood sugar, high triglycerides, or high blood pressure.
Fruit punches, lemonades, and other fruit drinks weren't linked to type 2 diabetes, possibly because not enough people in the study consumed enough of them for the researchers to be able to detect an impact.
What to do: Cut back (or cut out) regular soft drinks. Switch to water, coffee, tea, or diet soft drinks instead.
Am. J. Clin. Nutr. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.007922.