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Countries With More Sugar in Food Supply Have More Diabetes
Date:2/28/2013

ns Food and Agricultural Organization on the availability of foods in 175 countries. They also obtained data on the prevalence of diabetes in adults from the International Diabetes Federation.

Using statistical methods to tease out certain factors, such as obesity, the researchers found that the availability of sugar in the diet was linked to diabetes. For every additional 150 calories of sugar -- about the amount in a 12-ounce can of sweetened soda -- that were available per person daily, the prevalence of diabetes rose 1 percent in the population.

And, this rise was independent of obesity, physical activity and other factors that might contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, the investigators found.

But, when the researchers looked at 150 additional calories per person a day from other sources, they found only a 0.1 percent rise in the rate of diabetes.

Basu said there are likely a number of ways that sugar might contribute directly to the development of diabetes, such as increasing insulin resistance and inflammation.

However, it's important to note that this study doesn't prove that sugar causes diabetes, it only found an association between them. Basu also noted that the study was done on a population level, so it doesn't predict an individual's risk of type 2 diabetes based on the amount of sugar consumed.

The study also wasn't able to distinguish between types of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup or natural sugar. Other research has suggested that high-fructose corn syrup, in particular, may be linked to higher rates of diabetes. A recent study in the journal Global Public Health found that the rates of type 2 diabetes were 20 percent greater in countries where the use of high-fructose corn syrup was higher.

For its part, a sugar industry group agreed that the inability to differentiate between sugars was a significant limitation of the study.

"The correlation discussed in this pa
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