1.7 million Australians have diabetes; a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. Each day 280 Australians develop are diagnosed with diabetes, that’s one person every 5 minutes. Twelve people undergo diabetes related amputations in Australia every day (1).
Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to control the amount of glucose in the blood, often causing the blood sugar level to remain abnormally high. Insulin is the hormone released to control how much glucose is taken from the blood stream by cells to be used for energy production. Diabetes develops when the body cannot produce sufficient insulin (Type 1) or when it becomes resistant to the effects of insulin (Type 2).
High sugar diets have been identified to cause weight gain which increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes . There is also growing evidence to support the toxic effects of sugar as a direct driver of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome independent of weight gain [3-5].
1] Diabetes Australia, 2016
2] Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, Lustig R.H. (2013) The Relationship Of Sugar to population-level Diabetes prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross Sectional Data. Using data from 175 countries, this study provides evidence of the link between sugar availability and the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes. For every excess 150 calories consumed (about one can of sugary drink) there was a 1% increase in prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes when compared to 150 calories consumed from another source.
3] Imamura F, O’Connor L, Ye Z, Mursu J, Hayashino Y, Bhupathiraju S.N, Forouhi N.G.
(2015) Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of Type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta analysis and estimation of population attributable fraction. A comprehensive systematic review that provides evidence of a link between the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and Type 2 Diabetes. The consumption a sugar-sweetened beverage by one serving a day was associated with an 18% greater incidence of Type 2 Diabetes the results were adjusted to account for the effects of weight gain the incidence still increased by 13% per serving.
Malik V.S, Popkin B.M, Bray G.A, Despres J.P, Willett W.C, Hu F.B. (2010) Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. This meta-analysis included 310,819 participants and evaluated 15,043 cases of Type 2 Diabetes. It showed the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes increased by 26% in those with the higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (1-2 drink serving a day) compared to those in the lowest category (none or less than one drink serving a month).
Greenwood D.C, Threapleton D.E, Evans C.E.L, Cleghorn C.L, Nykjaer C, Woodhead C, Burley V.J. (2014) Association between sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis of prospective studies. A systematic review which identified a clear positive association between the intake of sugar sweetened beverages and incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. An increase intake of sugar sweetened beverage of 330mls a day was found to be associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by approximately 20%.