According to research published in the journal Diabetologia, researchers have found that replacing one serving of a sugary drink per day with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14 to 25%.
Specifically, researchers found that replacing a serving of a soft drink with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee cuts the risk of diabetes by 14%. Replacing a serving of a sweetened milk beverage with either of the three reduces the risk by 20-25%.
The study also showed that for each 5% of higher intake of energy from total sweet beverages was linked with an 18% increased risk for diabetes.
The researchers determined that if participants had decreased the energy they obtained from sweet beverages to below 2% of total daily energy, 15% of new diabetes cases could be avoided.
"Our new findings on the potential to reduce the burden of diabetes by reducing the percentage of energy consumed from sweet beverages add further important evidence to the recommendation from the World Health Organization to limit the intake of free sugars in our diet," lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi, of the UK Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, said.
New research published today in Diabetologia indicates that for each 5% increase of a person’s total energy intake provided by sweet drinks including soft drinks, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may increase by 18%.