A NEW STUDY says incrementally cutting sugar in soft drinks by 40% could slash rates of obesity and diabetes.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major source of sugar intake in both children and adults, and are an important contributor to obesity and obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
The Lancet study modelled an incremental and stepwise reduction in sugars added to sugar-sweetened beverages by 40% over 5 years, without the use of artificial sweeteners.
Even if fruit juices were excluded from the initiative because of the difficulties in product reformulation, the sugar removal would result in a 300,000 reduction in the number of people who are overweight; and an 800,000 million reduction in the number of people who are obese.
This is predicted to prevent about 221 000–250 000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the 20 year period following the body weight reduction. The effect was greater in adolescents, young adults, and individuals from low-income families as these groups consume more sugar-sweetened beverages.