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Source: Diabetes Focus, Volume 4, Number 1, Jan-March 2005

Soda-licious…and so bad for you! Turns out you are what you drink, at least when it comes to sweetened beverages and diabetes.

Drinking one can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch each day may be enough to double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in middle age, according to an eight-year Harvard study of 91,249 women published in the journal of the American Medical Association. (There’s no risk from diet soda.) Compared to women who drink less than one soda a week but are otherwise similar, daily soda-drinkers typically consume 360 more calories each day, say researchers.

“Sodas don’t appear to satisfy hunger or lead to a reduction in subsequent food intake,” explains researcher JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., of Harvard Medical School. It’s thought that sugar mixed with water doesn’t register with the brain as consumed calories, so it triggers increased appetite. The researchers also concluded that excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may trigger diabetes by providing large amounts of rapidly absorbed sugar as well as calories. “These drinks are pretty much just liquid candy,” says Dr. Manson. A better drink? Tomato juice. Australian researchers found that people who began drinking one glass a day had a reduction in the clumping of blood platelets, which can lead to the blood clots that cause a heart attack or stroke.