Can sugar cause diabetes? Has the increase in sugar consumption caused the worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes? Ask the sugar industry and the answer is a definite NO. Ask a random scientist in the field and the answer is likely to be “probably”, “possibly”, or “maybe”.
Ask dr Robert Lustig and the answer is emphatically yes. And I think he’s absolutely right.
A new study adds more support. Looking at the available sugar during the last decade in 175 countries the relationship is clear: The more sugar available, the more diabetes. Less sugar, less diabetes.
One extra can of soda per day corresponds to an extra 1.1 percent prevalence of diabetes. If correct this would mean a single extra can of soda per day would cause 3,500,000 more people to suffer from diabetes – just in the US. A relationship that rivals the disease-causing effects of smoking.
This relationship is clear even when correcting for other possible causes like obesity. In other words: Here’s more support for the theory that excess sugar does not just make you fat. Sugar can probably make you sick even before you get fat.
To be fair, this study is just about statistical correlations: it does not prove causality. But it’s another smoking gun for the sugar industry to try to explain away.
The evidence of harmful effects of extra sugar in our diets is piling up. And there’s no need to consume it, there’s nothing nutritionally necessary about pure sugar in excessive amounts. Let’s just get rid of our sugar addiction and stop this disaster.
- NYT: It’s the Sugar, Folks
- The Guardian: Sugar is behind global explosion in type 2 diabetes, study finds
- PLOS one: The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data
- EpiAnalysis: Interpreting our findings from today’s study on sugars and diabetes