Curbing sugar in drinks ‘could prevent type 2’
Reducing the amount of sugar in sweetened drinks by 40 per cent could prevent 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes over the next two decades, according to new research.
The study, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, states that a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverages , including fruit juices, over five years could also lead to 500,000 fewer cases of people being overweight and one million fewer cases of obesity.
Data from both the government’s national diet and nutrition survey and the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) were used to calculate the consumption of so-called sugar-sweetened beverages, and how much they contribute to UK-wide sugar and energy intakes.
The study said sugar-sweetened beverages are a “major source of free sugar intake in both children and adults, and are an important contributor to obesity and obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes”.
The researchers, who were led by Professor Graham MacGregor from Queen Mary’s University of London, then estimated how much a person’s energy intake would fall through the hypothetical drop in sugar content, and the resultant reduction in body weight.
Professor MacGregor, who is also the chairman of the Action on Sugar group, said: “The proposed strategy could lead to a profound reduction in energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and could therefore lower the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in the long term. These findings provide strong support for the implementation of the proposed strategy.”