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You Are What You Drink - And It’s Not What You Think

You Are What You Drink - And It’s Not What You Think

Celebrity endorsements for soda have been around for years. Remember Mean Joe Green’s 1979 ad for the softer side of Coke? Ever see Norman Rockwell’s 1928 painting of a young lad with a fishing pole declaring he and Coke were friends for life? More recently Taylor Swift (Diet Coke), Beyoncé (Pepsi) and Steve Harvey (Coke again) have flacked for soda.

They all look so fit and trim! Must mean it’s okay to indulge, right? Think again.

A study by researchers in Japan, Finland, the UK and the US found that even if you’re a healthy weight, drinking sugary soda - as well as diet soda and fruit drinks - ups your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Seems in North American, drinking one 12-ounce sugar-laden soda (or adding one to your usual consumption) increases the risk 18 percent for those who are overweight and 13 percent for normal weight folks. (And although the data’s less solid, researchers found even if you’re normal weight, one DIET soda a day ups your risk for type 2 diabetes by 8 percent.)

Of almost 21 million cases of diabetes expected to develop in the US over the next 10 years, 1.8 million will be directly attributable to drinking sugary drinks. And another study reveals sugar intake is linked to a more rapid development of type 1 diabetes as well.

So we say if you’re thirsty, peel an orange, slice a watermelon, sip iced tea or coffee and enjoy as many glasses of water a day as you want.

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

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