27 August 2004

--- A Confirmed Revelation

This post is not trying to be sexist.

It just happens that the latest issue of the JAMA carries a study that links diabetes incidence among women who drink more than one sweetened soft drink a day. [JAMA 2004;292:927-934]

The study involved 91,249 diabetes-free women who were followed up from baseline in 1991 until 1999. Results showed that "weight gain over a 4-year period was highest among women who increased their sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption from 1 or fewer drinks per week to 1 or more drinks per day," and it also revealed that "increased consumption of fruit punch was associated with greater weight gain," and "increased diabetes risk."

This confirms what we have long suspected: that increased sugar consumption (softdrinks and fruit puncehes being good examples) can lead to weight gain and increase your diabetes type 2 risk --- as much as 83 percent compared to women who drank less than one fruit punch or soda a month. I think it is just coincindental that women were used in this Harvard study; I think if it involved men, reproducible results can be obtained, too.

As expected, the softdrink industry thrashed these findings, sayingg that women who drank more sugary sodas also smoked, ate more and exercised less than non-soda drinkers. In a statement issued by the American Beverage Association, they said, "It is inexplicable that the authors have chosen to focus solely on sugar-sweetened beverages in this way." [No One Food Increases The Risk For Type 2 Diabetes]

That's what they say. And that is expected from the billion-dollar softdrink industry to protect its interests. But as a health professional, my interests involve informing you of the the risks you are heaping on yourself when you take in too much of these beverages.

The table on the right (taken from Saveharry.com) tells you the amount of sugar found in most common softdrinks. A press release by a marketing firm in 2000, tells us that "1 of every 4 beverages consumed in America today is a soft-drink," and that picture I think is not so dissimilar here in the Philippines. In a typical meal, isn't softdrinks one of the usual orders for beverage drink?

Let's quantify the figures from the table, guys.

What is 40 grams of sugar in a regular softdrink? That is equivalent to 10 TEASPOONS of sugar! As I've asked before, would you swallow 10 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting? You would or you always do when you take in its camouflaged form --- softdrinks.

Now since everyone you know these days has diabetes or a relative that has diabetes, it is not good for you to further increase your risk and gamble when diabetes type 2 will manifest in your body. You must help yourself. As Santi said about smoking, this preference for softdrinks has I think also something to do with "putting your desires above your concerns or self admission."

If you think you are already at risk for diabetes type 2 and its complications, either because of your high fasting blood sugar levels or because of a strong family history, it is time for you to MAKE A DECISION NOW if you want top live longer or healthier WITHOUT diabetes or to just wait for it to happen and act later.

It's your choice.

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