High consumption of sugar sweetened beverages has been linked to overall poor diet in a recent study.
The Lund University research shows that high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which has been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, is part of a poor overall diet, suggesting that care must be taken when linking such beverages to disease risk.
Consumption of several beverages has been associated with risk of type 2 diabetes; high coffee and tea consumption has been associated with a decreased risk and high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) with an increased risk. Regarding juice and artificially sweetened beverages (ASB), the results are inconclusive.
As beverages are part of our overall diet and lifestyle, the authors hypothesised that high consumption of these beverages (SSB, ASB, juice, coffee and tea) may be associated with certain characteristics of the overall diet that could be difficult to take into account when analysing associations between beverage consumption and disease.
The authors said that they observed a high consumption of SSBs to be significantly associated with lower intakes of foods generally perceived as healthy; the largest intake differences between high and low consumers of SSBs were seen for fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, breakfast cereals, fibre rich bread and fish.
They added that in contrast, high consumption of both tea and juice was significantly associated with higher intakes of foods perceived as healthy; the largest differences were seen for fruits, vegetables and yoghurt. High consumption of ASBs was significantly associated with higher intakes of low fat products; low fat milk and margarines. High consumption of coffee associated with higher intakes of meat and high fat margarine, and a lower intake of breakfast cereals.
They concluded that the results indicate that the associations previously seen with sugar sweetened beverages might be due to that individuals consuming a lot of these beverages also have a diet low in healthy foods which in combination give associations with serveral chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
New research was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm.