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Beverages matter …

The New York Times (5/1 Bakalar) reports that “Substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or dairy beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes” according to a study published online in the journal Diabetologia.

The Los Angeles Times (5/1 Healy) “Science Now ” blog reports that after tracking the consumption habits of more than 25,000 Britons (ages 40-79) over about 11 years, researchers found that “drinking sugar-sweetened milk products was an even more powerful driver of diabetes; compared with those who drank one such beverage daily, people who drank water, coffee or tea instead were on average 20%-25% less likely to develop diabetes.”

Locally, the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) gathered data on health status and lifestyles of 749 European-American and Mexican-American elders for more than 9 years. In participants over age 65 who reported that they did not consume any diet sodas, waist circumference increased less than 1 inch on average during these 9 years. In those who reported occasional consumption of less than one diet soda a day, waist circumference increased almost 2 inches. And among those who consumed diet sodas every day or more than once a day over the study period, waist circumference increased over 3 inches. “Even when you adjust for (other factors) you have this independent effect of diet soda consumption on waist circumference change over time,” said Helen Hazuda, Ph.D., who led the study.

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