Women who drank water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages had a lower risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition researchers. Sweet drinks including soda and fruit juice were found to increase diabetes risk by 10 percent for each cup consumed. Researchers estimated that women could reduce their risk by seven or eight percent by swapping one daily sugary beverage for plain water.
The study drew from 12 years’ worth of diet and health data collected from 82,902 women enrolled in the landmark Nurses Health Study. It was published online May 2, 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
HSPH Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Frank Hu, the study’s senior author, told Reuters Health in a May 31, 2012 article that “because diabetes is so prevalent in our society, even seven or eight percent reduction in diabetes risk is quite substantial in terms of the population.”