per relies on lumping together natural sugar with the man-made replacement, high-fructose corn syrup," the Washington, D.C.-based Sugar Association said in a prepared statement. "It is difficult to reconcile the correlation drawn between sugar and diabetes [in this study] given the fact that Americans are consuming far less natural sugar today than we were for most of the last 100 years," they noted.
Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that type 2 diabetes is a complex disease, and that its development is multi-factorial. "Eating a lot of sugar is not good, especially the sugar substitutes like fructose and sucrose. But, I wouldn't underplay the importance of exercise and caloric intake," Zonszein said.
"And, you have to have individuals who have a genetic abnormality first before you can have type 2 diabetes," he added.
But, if you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, Zonszein said one of the most dramatic changes someone can make is to stop drinking sweetened drinks. "When patients can stop drinking sugary drinks, their diabetes improves. It's simple, and it makes a big difference," he said.
Learn more about type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.
SOURCES: Sanjay Basu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 27, 2013, statement, Sugar Association, Washington, D.C.; Feb. 27, 2013, PLoS One, online
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