BOSTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Routine drinking of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Vasanti Malik of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues say the study provides empirical evidence that intake of sugary beverages should be limited to reduce risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Malik and senior author Frank Hu conducted a meta-analysis pooling 11 studies that included more than 300,000 participants and 15,043 cases of type 2 diabetes.
The findings, published in the journal Diabetes Care, showed drinking one to two sugary drinks per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26 percent and the risk of metabolic syndrome by 20 percent, compared with those who consumed less than one sugary drink per month.
Drinking one 12-ounce serving of a sugary beverage per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 15 percent, the study says.
"The association that we observed between soda consumption and risk of diabetes is likely a cause-and-effect relationship because other studies have documented that sugary beverages cause weight gain, and weight gain is closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes," Hu says.