Diet Sodas Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

The American Diabetes Association, without endorsing artifically sweetened sodas as a health food, has long recommended them in preference to the sugar- or high fructose corn syrup-sweetened variety.

This study may tip the balance away from diet sodas. The best answer, of course, is to avoid both.

Here’s the abstract, posted January 30, 2013 on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

BACKGROUND: It has been extensively shown, mainly in US populations, that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but less is known about the effects of artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs). OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the association between self-reported SSB, ASB, and 100% fruit juice consumption and T2D risk over 14 y of follow-up in the French prospective Etude Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. DESIGN: A total of 66,118 women were followed from 1993, and 1369 incident cases of T2D were diagnosed during the follow-up. Cox regression models were used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for T2D risk. RESULTS: The average consumption of sweetened beverages in consumers was 328 and 568 mL/wk for SSBs and ASBs, respectively. Compared with nonconsumers, women in the highest quartiles of SSB and ASB consumers were at increased risk of T2D with HRs (95% CIs) of 1.34 (1.05, 1.71) and 2.21 (1.56, 3.14) for women who consumed >359 and >603 mL/wk of SSBs and ASBs, respectively. Strong positive trends in T2D risk were also observed across quartiles of consumption for both types of beverage (P = 0.0088 and P < 0.0001, respectively). In sensitivity analyses, associations were partly mediated by BMI, although there was still a strong significant independent effect. No association was observed for 100% fruit juice consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Both SSB consumption and ASB consumption were associated with increased T2D risk. We cannot rule out that factors other than ASB consumption that we did not control for are responsible for the association with diabetes, and randomized trials are required to prove a causal link between ASB consumption and T2D.

Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Saes Sartorelli D, Lajous M, Balkau B, Clavel-Chapelon F. Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. Jan 30 2013.

Meat Industry Now Consumes 4/5 of Antibiotics

Option A is to limit use of antibiotics to animals who are actually sick. Option B is for people to stop eating meat. The U.S. has chosen Option C, at least thus far, which is to look the other way and let the antibiotic-resistant organisms proliferate.

This will not end well unless the policy changes in substantial ways soon.

From a Mother Jones article by Tom Philpott:

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a set of voluntary “guidelines” designed to nudge the meat industry to curb its antibiotics habit. Ever since, the agency has been mulling whether and how to implement the new program. Meanwhile, the meat industry has been merrily gorging away on antibiotics—and churning out meat rife with antibiotic-resistant pathogens—if the latest data from the FDA itself is any indication.

The Pew Charitable Trusts crunched the agency’s numbers on antibiotic use on livestock farms and compared them to data on human use of antibiotics to treat illness, and mashed it all into an infographic, which I’ve excerpted below. Note that that while human antibiotic use has leveled off at below 8 billion pounds annually, livestock farms have been sucking in more and more of the drugs each year—and consumption reached a record nearly 29.9 billion pounds in 2011. To put it another way, the livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics used in the US, and its appetite for them is growing.

Pew Charitable Trusts.
h/t Diane V Gandee Sorbi