Sugar, Not Obesity, to Blame for Diabetes; Skinny People Not Immune

Gympie Times, The Qld., July 8, 2017 | Go to article overview

Sugar, Not Obesity, to Blame for Diabetes; Skinny People Not Immune


Byline: Lanai Scarr

CALLS for a local sugar tax have been bolstered by a major Australian-led study showing for that sugary drinks, irrespective of obesity or weight gain, can cause type 2 diabetes.

An Australian National University-led study of 40,000 adults has shown the more sugary drinks consumed by an individual the higher diabetes risk, meaning skinny people are not immune.

Men and women react differently to sugar-filled drinks like soft drink, flavoured milk and sweetened juices, and women are far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes from regular consumption as opposed to men.

The study of 40,000 Thai adults from 2005 to 2013 has shown sugar-sweetened beverages are driving our diabetes epidemic.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes sugar.

About 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, with 85-90% Type 2 cases.

It is estimated 500,000 Australians have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, the ANU study showed women had a much bigger risk of diabetes associated with sugar-sweetened drinks.

Women who consumed one or more sugary beverages a day had a 90% higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes simply due to their liquid sugar consumption and irrespective of their body mass index.

Those who had between one and six sugar-sweetened beverages a week were 50% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Over the eight-year period only men who consumed one or more beverage a day saw a 30% increase in risk.

Previously it has been assumed that obesity and sugar drinking go hand-in-hand, with sugar leading to weight gain which then results in Type 2 diabetes.

The latest study also showed more than 4000 cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented annually in the Thai population if people avoided sugary drinks daily.

Lead author of the study Keren Papier said that figure would easily translate to the Australian population.

"A reduction in sugary drink consumption is likely reduce rates of diabetes in Australia," Ms Papier said.

In addition to a sugar tax Ms Papier also said warnings for women in particular to drink less of the beverages could be necessary. …

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