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September 2023
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Sugary Drinks Increase Diabetes Risk in African-American Women

Soda Over recent years society has been witness to an alarming change in Type 2 diabetes. Despite previously being seen primarily in those over the age of forty, increasing numbers of adolescents and children are also being diagnosed with the disease. Furthermore, it has become much more frequent, particularly in female African-Americans, who are twice as likely to suffer from it as Caucasian women.  

Researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center set out to find the factor that makes African-American women more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes with the Black

Women’s Health Study. In their study, they sent out initial questionnaires to obtain information about the participants’ medical history, typical diet and other basic facts. Every two years more questionnaires followed in order to track any significant changes in lifestyle or the contraction of any serious illness, including diabetes. In the first ten years 2,713 of the participants developed diabetes.

Researchers studied the links between these women and were able to pinpoint sugary drinks as the common denominator. The women who were drinking two or more soft drinks a day had a twenty-four percent increase in diagnosis over those who were drinking less than one soft drink a month.

More surprisingly was a similar association found regarding sweetened fruit drinks.  There was a thirty-one percent increase in incidence with women drinking two or more fruit drinks daily.  Although the perception of fruit drinks has typically been a positive one, Julie Palmer, ScD, a professor at Boston University and lead author on the study warns, “The public should be made aware that these drinks are not a healthy alternative to soft drinks with regard to risk of Type 2 diabetes.” 

Although this research was compiled based on the lives of African-American women, it must be said that all can benefit from this information. The ingredients used in these drinks harmfully effect all who drink them, not just one particular group. Doctors and experts have cited sugary drinks as causing many problems. Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND write, “Soft drinks have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones.”  This can lead to osteoporosis.

Marion Nestle, PhD links sugar drinks to severe weight gain, writing, “The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.” Obesity is known to cause its own slew of issues and illnesses. This is particularly unfortunate as “soft drinks are the single greatest source of caffeine in children’s diets.”

However, children are not the only ones who should fear the hazardous effects of sugar drinks. Earl Mindell, MD wrote, “For anyone over age 40, soft drinks can be especially hazardous because the kidneys are less able to excrete excess phosphorus, causing depletion of vital calcium.” Diet drinks are not even a safe alternative. According to the doctor, “Diet sodas that are low in calories are high in sodium. Too much salt in the diet may cause more calcium to be excreted in the urine and increase the risk of osteoporosis.”

The only healthy alternative is water. It removes harmful toxins and wastes from the body and helps to digest food properly. It improves energy and makes it easier to lose weight and keep skin healthy. Most importantly it can prevent heart attacks. The American Journal of Epidemiology found that women were forty-one percent less likely to die of a heart attack when drinking more than five glasses of water a day.

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  4. Obesity Raises Diabetes Risk More Than Inactivity, Study Finds
  5. Trans Fats Increase a Woman’s Infertility Risk by 70 to 100 Percent, Study Finds

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