There is a perception that natural drinks, such as fruit juices, are good for health. But quite contrary to this perception, a recent research conducted by scientists from China and the US has revealed that natural sweet drinks can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 16%.
The research, by an international team of researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China, has pointed out that all sugary drinks, including natural fruit juices and artificially sweetened beverages, could increase diabetes risk.
The scientists analyzed the data over 22-26 years from 76,531 women enrolled in Nurses’ Health Study between 1986-2012; 81,597 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 between 1991-2013; and 34,224 men from the Health Professionals’ Follow-up study, enrolled between 1986-2012.
The participants in the studies were asked questions such as how often they consume foods and drinks. The researchers were able to find out results on basis of their consuming certain drinks and changes in their drink consumption patterns.
The researchers concluded that people who had increased their total consumption of soft drinks with added sugars and naturally sweet fruit drinks by over 4 ounces per day over 4 years saw an associated type 2 diabetes risk increase of 16% over the following 4 years.
However, researchers observed that that people can reduce this diabetes 2 risk by replacing sugary drinks of any kind with non-sweetened beverages including water, tea and coffee.
Senior author Prof. Frank Hu, from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, stated that the results of the study are in line with current recommendations to replace sugary beverages with noncaloric beverages free of artificial sweeteners.