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I have frequently heard (even from diabetics) that diets high in sugar can cause (or at least contribute to) diabetes. Others have said it's a common misunderstanding, and there's no demonstrated causal connection between the two, but only correlation.

Can eating sugar-rich foods put you at a higher risk of getting diabetes?

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    Is there anyone who seriously says it doesn't? – going Sep 23 '11 at 4:54
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    I mean, after doing 10 seconds of research, it should be obvious that for type 2 diabetes unhealthy diet is one of the causes. People who eat lots of sugar don't just eat candy (or sugar from a bowl), they eat lots of other crap. Poor diet = increased risk of type 2 diabetes. – going Sep 23 '11 at 5:13
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    “Others have said” – who is that? As @xiaohouzi79 has found out in just 10 seconds of research, the scientific consensus is that bad diet (and yes, this particularly means certain types of sugar) contribute overwhelmingly to all types of diabetes. In summary, I don’t think this is a notable claim. I’ve certainly never heard it. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 23 '11 at 13:37
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    I, for one, have heard this claim argued on both sides before. I think the contention is whether it's something specific to sugar that contributes to diabetes. I believe there's a common misunderstanding that diabetes is related to insulin and insulin is related to sugar, so it all ties to sugar intake in diet. – mellamokb Sep 23 '11 at 14:17
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    @mellamokb: diabetes is related to a malfunction in the control of sugar levels, which are physiologically balanced by the two hormones insuline and glucagone. Mutations in either of these hormones, or in their cognate receptors can be a cause of diabetes. High sugar diet can be another cause, or at least a risk factor. And it's not just about sugar: high-fat diet can lead to diabetes as well. So, in summary, the situation is very complex and it is difficult to generalize. – nico Oct 9 '11 at 13:36
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Type 2 diabetes is caused by an inactive lifestyle, a diet high in calories, and being overweight also contributes to the chances of getting it. (Type 1 is caused by genetics). This does not mean you can eat as much sugar as you like, because sugar is high in calories, but this is the only link between diabetes and sugar intake. So, in short, yes, excessive sugar intake can contribute to the chances of getting type 2 diabetes, but sugar itself is not the problem.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: No, it does not. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories, whether from sugar or from fat, can contribute to weight gain. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.

Source: American Diabetes Association.

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Yes, probably. Using the same link to the American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/):

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: The answer is not so simple. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.

Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of >sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. - See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/#sthash.ouOhB8if.dpuf

Also, there are studies which show correlation between high glycaemic index and risk of diabetes and obesity. Source: Effects of dietary glycaemic index on adiposity, glucose homoeostasis, and plasma lipids in animals.

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