BOSTON (Sept. 5, 2007) Steady increases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages over the last several decades, as well as rates of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, led nutritional epidemiologists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and colleagues to explore the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Their findings suggest that higher consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, but not 100 percent fruit juice, may be associated with insulin resistance, even in otherwise healthy adults.
Study participants who consumed two or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had significantly higher fasting blood levels of insulin as compared to participants who did not report consuming any such beverages, regardless of age, sex, weight, smoking status, or other dietary habits, says senior author Paul Jacques, DSc, director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Higher fasting levels of insulin mean these study participants are more at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In contrast, he says, consumption of 100 percent fruit juice was not significantly related to any of our measures of insulin resistance.
Study participants were 2,500 healthy men and women in the Framingham Offspring Study, a community-based study of cardiovascular disease among offspring of people in the original Framingham Heart Study. Participants reported their usual dietary intake for the previous year, which researchers used to determine average intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks (regular and caffeine-free colas and other carbonated beverages containing sugar), diet soft drinks (low-calorie colas with and without caffeine and other low-calorie carbonated beverages), and fruit juice (e.g., apple juice or apple cider, orange juice, and grapefruit juice
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Tufts University, Health Sciences