Source Pravda.Ru

Women should beware of soft drinks

Women who drink more than one sweetened soft drink a day are more likely to develop diabetes than women who drink less than one a month, according to a new study. Critics of the study noted the same conclusion might be drawn from examining eating habits involving other forms of junk food, too. Obesity is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes -- the most common form of diabetes -- so the extra calories from soda account for at least some of the increased risk, said the Harvard University researchers who did the study. But the scientists said there also appears to be a link to the way the body handles the sugars in soft drinks -- a claim two outside experts said needs more research. A soft drink trade group said the study's conclusions were not scientifically sound and that the focus should be on the unhealthy lifestyles and weight gain that can lead to diabetes. Globally, type 2 diabetes, a condition that often leads to heart disease and kidney failure, afflicts 154 million people and is blamed for 3 millions deaths a year. The study, which appeared in Tuesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, involved an analysis of data from a continuing health study of 51,603 female nurses. Researchers found that women drinking one or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day were twice as likely to develop diabetes as women who drank fewer than one a month, informs IndyStar. According to the Straits times, drinking at least one sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch daily nearly doubles the risk of diabetes, according to the first large study to examine the suggested link. Women who drank less than one of the beverages a month had half the risk of developing diabetes than those who drank one a day, according to the study of 91,000 nurses. The results have been published in The Journal Of The American Medical Association. Women who increased the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks they consumed from one or less than that a week to one or more daily were also most likely to gain weight, picking up nearly 8kg in eight years. The study provides more grist for a long- standing debate among nutritionists, government panels and the food and beverage industry about whether added sugars contribute to obesity and chronic diet-related diseases. The research is part of a long-running Harvard University-based study of diet, health and disease in 300,000 people. The research has produced influential findings on the dangers of trans-fatty acids, and on the links between obesity and chronic disease and between consumption of red meat and colon cancer. The Boston Herald reports that diet colas were not linked to diabetes, nor were fruit juices that had no added sugars, said the study published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. The soft drink industry blasted the findings, noting that women who drank more sugary sodas also tended to smoke and eat more and exercise less than non-soda drinkers. ``It is scientifically indefensible to blame any one food or beverage for increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes,'' the American Beverage Association said in a statement. While experts debate the reported soda-diabetes link, a nutritionist at Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center said she worries about the trend toward super-sized sodas. ``Kids are all growing up drinking this stuff and drinking huge portions of it, so if there is a link, it's going to affect this entire population,'' said Karen Chalmers.`

Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2002/07/04/31791.html ' target=_blank> Pravda.RU A way to get rid of diabetes: exercises, not medicines