A soda a day? That’s not so bad—a 150-calorie blip, burned off with a brisk half-hour walk. But it’s not only your waistline that’s at stake. A study in the journal Diabetes Care found that people with a daily habit of just one or two sugar-sweetened beverages—anything from sodas and energydrinks to sweetened teas and vitamin water—were more than 25 percent likelier to develop type 2 diabetes than were similar individuals who had no more than one sugary drink per month.
Since the overall rate of diabetes is roughly 1 in 10, an increase of 25 percent raises the risk to about 1 in 8. One-a-day guzzlers in the study also had a 20 percent higher rate of metabolic syndrome, a collection of indicators such as high triglyceride levels suggesting that diabetes is not far off.
“Previous studies have shown that sugar-sweetened beverages are strongly associated with weight gain,” says lead author Vasanti Malik, a research fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition, who says the decision to examine the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of diabetes was “the logical next step.”
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