Sugary Drinks Increase Prediabetes Risk for Latinos

Consuming sugary drinks like soda and juice may increase the risk of prediabetes for Latino adults, according to a new study from Duke University School of Medicine.

“What we found in this study is that unfortunately, having more than two drinks a day does increase your risk and is associated with having prediabetes,” said Dr. Leonor Corsino of the Duke University School of Medicine, according to CBS17.

Latinos are at high risk for diabetes and other medical conditions.

It’s important that we reduce sugary drink consumption, especially for Latino youth.

What Did the Study Find on Prediabetes and Sugary Drinks?

Corsino and her research team collected data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which is the most comprehensive long-term study of health and disease among U.S. Latinos to date.

By studying food and drink intake of almost 10,000 adults, the researchers concluded that Latinos who drink more than two daily sugary beverages are 1.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with prediabetes.

The researchers emphasized that steps can be taken to reduce the health risk from sugary drinks.

“The message is that that could be one behavior change, one thing you change in your diet that could have a big impact on your likelihood of developing diabetes in the future especially if you’re at risk of developing diabetes,” Dr. Corsino said. “So, drink less sugar-sweetened beverages.”

How Do Sugary Drinks Impact Latinos?

Latinos are at far higher risk for diabetes than white people.

Over the course of their lives, Latinos adults overall have a 40% chance of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC. Latinos are also more likely to experience complications and death from diabetes.

Not only does overconsumption of sugary drinks cause a risk for diabetes, but also obesity, especially for Latino and Black youth.

Some 96% of parents say they gave sugary drinks to their kids in the month prior to the survey.(Photo: Getty Images)

“Latino kids who consumed sugary drinks had 2.3x the odds of severe obesity. Latino toddlers ages 2-4 who didn’t consume sugary drinks had 31% lower odds of obesity than those with a high intake,” according to a Salud America! research review.

Latino and Black kids are also more likely to be targeted by marketing from the beverage industry.

“On Spanish-language TV, four companies – PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and Innovation Ventures – were responsible for 98% of sugary drink and energy drink ad spending,” according to a report from Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

By encouraging Latinos to drink more water rather than soda, we can protect Latino health and reduce the risk of health complications.

How You Can Help Reduce Sugary Drink Consumption?

We can help fight the negative consequences of overconsumption of soda and other sugary drinks.

Here are 5 pediatrician-approved recommendations to limit sugary drinks for kids:

  • Raise the price of sugary drinks.
  • Reduce sugary drink marketing to children and teens.
  • Remove sugary drinks from kid’s menus. Emphasize healthy drink options.
  • Add accurate nutrition labels and information.
  • Hospitals should serve as models with policies to limit or discourage purchase of sugary drinks.

Some cities are taking a stand to limit sugary drink consumption for kids.

New Orleans just enacted a rule that bans soda from the kid’s menu in restaurants.

The city of Baltimore enacted a similar rule in 2018, as did the state of California in 2019. In the city of Lafayette, Colorado, a youth committee pushed the city to take soda off the kids menu.

Salud America! also created an Action Pack to help school leaders push for Water Bottle Fountains. This refillable water station can boost access to water for Latino and all kids.


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