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It is a common claim that drinking excess soda of any type can result in Type 2 Diabetes. In my experience when I have seen these claims made it is without regard to the type of soda (sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, diet, etc.). Rather, there seems to be a belief that too much soda of any kind will result in Type 2 Diabetes.

Examples of some such claims:

The people who make the claim seem to believe that it holds for all types of soda, regardless of if HFCS, sugar or Aspartame is used. All sodas regardless of sweetener used have some common ingredients such as additives, colors and artificial flavors, which may be the source of the belief.

Is there any ingredient common to all types of sodas that may be a factor in the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes when consumed in excess?

Do the ingredients common to many sodas, when combined and consumed in excess, pose a greater risk in causing diabetes than singularly?

  • MSNBC News report claiming diet soda maybe just might lead to Type 2 diabetes. – Oddthinking Jul 10 '12 at 3:17
  • Not that I have any sort of scientific backing, but when you really think about it the question comes down to "are sodas like club soda likely to cause Type 2 Diabetes?" In this day and age everyone seems to have been sucked into the fad of losing weight and staying healthy and cutting out the bad food. Soda is instantly associated with "bad food" and therefore will almost always be a de facto "bad" food simply because of sodas that have been proven to be iffy; others are ignored. – Qix Jan 8 '13 at 17:14
  • Again, not having any scientific backing, but I highly doubt simple carbonated (unsweetened) water is going to cause diabetes. – Qix Jan 8 '13 at 17:15
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Evidence through research shows that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice is associated with risk of diabetes but this simple correlation does not imply causation. No study has estimated how many diabetes cases can be caused by consuming sugar sweetened beverages. Research through observational studies continuously show that artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juice are not healthy options for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

  1. A metanalysis by Fumiaki Imamura et.al. in 2015 found that habitual consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Conclusions: Habitual consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes, independently of adiposity. Although artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juice also showed positive associations with incidence of type 2 diabetes, the findings were likely to involve bias. None the less, both artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juice were unlikely to be healthy alternatives to sugar sweetened beverages for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Under assumption of causality, consumption of sugar sweetened beverages over years may be related to a substantial number of cases of new onset diabetes.

  1. Sakurai M et.al. in 2014 found that consumption of diet soda in a study of 2,037 Japanese men was significantly associated with an increased risk for diabetes.

Conclusions: Consumption of diet soda was significantly associated with an increased risk for diabetes in Japanese men. Diet soda is not always effective at preventing type 2 diabetes even though it is a zero-calorie drink.

  1. In a Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis in 2009, diet soda consumption was positively associated with both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

In MESA, diet soda consumption was positively associated with both incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Associations between diet soda and risk of type 2 diabetes were of greater magnitude than the associations observed between diet soda and metabolic syndrome. Despite accumulating evidence of the existence of these associations, we are cautious not to conclude causality between diet soda and the diabetic or pre-diabetic condition. The possibility of confounding by other dietary and lifestyle/behavioral factors cannot be excluded from these observational studies.

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