New research suggests a bigger type 2 diabetes risk from sugary drinks

New research suggests a bigger type 2 diabetes risk from sugary drinks

New research shows that sugary drinks sold in Australia have over 20 per cent more glucose compared to those sold in the United States.

The research from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute compared the sugar content of sugary drinks in Australia, Europe and the U.S. The higher proportion of glucose relate to different sweeteners used in sugary drinks (sugar cane in Australia, corn syrup in the US and sugar beet in Europe).

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the study was particularly important for Australian children and families and those at risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Glucose in sugary drinks rapidly elevates glucose levels in the blood. We may have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Australia because of the higher glucose levels in Australian formulations of well-known sugary drinks,” he said.

“Diabetes Australia is renewing its call for the introduction of a health levy on sugary drinks as part of a comprehensive approach to decreasing rates of overweight and obesity and reducing the impact of type 2 diabetes.

“A levy would reduce consumption and the revenue generated could support public education campaigns and initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes and address childhood obesity.”

Professor Johnson said reducing consumption of sugary drinks would have a real impact on the health of Australian children and young people where there is very high consumption of sugary drinks with no nutritional benefit.

“Research has found that a sugary drinks levy could help reduce consumption by more than 10 per cent,” he said.

“Over 25 years a tax on sugary drinks could mean 16,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, 4,400 fewer cases of heart disease and 1,100 fewer cases of stroke.

“Anything that makes sugary drinks a less appealing product and encourages Australians to consume less of them, and more of healthy alternatives like water, is a step in the right direction.”