Hopefully everyone knows by now that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (those which have added sweeteners like sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup and fruit juice concentrates) is bad for you if you have diabetes: they lead to unnecessary weight gain and spikes in blood sugar levels.
However, a new research study (just published online in the journal Diabetologia, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-013-2899-8) from Europe documents a significant increase in newly diagnosed diabetes linked to drinking such sweetened drinks. The study looked at about 12,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes and found that each daily 12-oz. drink led to a 22% increased risk of getting diabetes. For artificially sweetened beverages the situation was more complicated. While it appeared at first to also lead to higher risk of diabetes, after adjustments for the calories taken in and measures of obesity, that association was no longer significant. Interestingly, consuming 100% fruit or vegetable juices or nectars with little added sugar was not linked to higher risk of winding up with diabetes.
The lessons here are pretty clear: stay away from drinks with added sugar.