Two glasses of calorie-free drinks a day ‘doubles the risk’ of diabetes Two glasses of calorie-free drinks a day ‘doubles the risk’ of diabetesResearch by the Karolinska Institute on 2,800 adults found that those who consumed at least two 200ml servings of soft drinks daily were 2.4 times as likely to suffer from a form of type 2 diabetes.

Josefin Edwall Löfvenborg, lead author of this retrospective study, which relied on participants to recall their diet habits, said soft drinks might influence glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, leading to the increased risk of latent auto-immune diabetes, a form of type 2 diabetes. Many fizzy drinks are sold in 330ml cans, meaning that one and a half cans would be enough to double the risk. Those who drank a liter of such drinks saw a 10-fold rise in their chance of suffering from the condition. So far no huge surprise.

More interestingly, the study concluded that the increased risks were the same regardless of whether the drinks were sugary or artificially sweetened: The artificial sweeteners in the diet drinks may stimulate and distort appetite, they said, increasing food intake, and encouraging a sweet tooth. Such sweeteners might also affect microbes in the gut leading to glucose intolerance.

This research was published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.