Pre-diabetes and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption
Lifestyle & Wellness

Pre-diabetes and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption

Sugar intake has become the recent bane in nutrition. Results from recent epidemiological studies associated the incidence of diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). However, the definition of SSB has confused many people. Broadly, SSB includes all beverages that are sweetened with sugars, regardless of whether the sugars are innately present or subsequently added during processing. That is why 100% fruit juice is also regarded as a type of SSB. As its name implies, pre-diabetes is a condition preceding the full manifestation of diabetes and is a development stage in the pathophysiology of diabetes. Clinically, it happens when the blood sugar level is higher than it should be but not high enough for the doctor to diagnose diabetes.[1] Why is prediabetes a critical stage? The reason is very simple. It can be reversed until it is fully developed into diabetes.[1]

A recently published cross-sectional study on 5194 normoglycemic and  4771 prediabetic Hispanic/ Latino of individuals concluded that higher sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with increased odds of prediabetes and higher glucose metabolism markers.[2] The authors advised to implement public health initiatives to decrease sugar-sweetened beverage consumption so as to potentially reduce the burden of diabetes among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.[2] The results are consistent with those from previous studies on different ethnic populations, and may likely apply to our Asian ethnicity. Interestingly, Intake of 100% fruit juice was not significantly associated with prediabetes nor with glucose metabolism markers.[2]

While we should be conscious of the SSB intake, it seems that not all types of SSB are bad for health. 

[1] Singapore Health Promotion Board

[2] Moon, Jee-Young, Hua, Simin, Qi, Qibin, Sotres-Alvarez, Daniela, Mattei, Josiemer, Casagrande, Sarah S, Mossavar-Rahmani, Yasmin, Siega-Riz, Anna María, Gallo, Linda C, Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia, Kaplan, Robert C & Corsino, Leonor. 2021. Association of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption with Prediabetes and Glucose Metabolism Markers in Hispanic/Latino Adults in the United States: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). The Journal of Nutrition 152: 235-245.

Posted by Dr. Loke Wai Mun