Thursday November 23, 2017

Soda Drinks put you at risk of Pre-Diabetes, but Diet Soda may be Safe in that Regard

Drinking colas and other sugary drinks are tied to an increased risk of so-called pre-diabetes, a precursor to full-blown disease, but diet soda is not, a recent study suggests.

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Regular and mini cans of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi are pictured in this photo illustration in New York August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

– by Lisa Rapaport

November 20, 2016: Drinking colas and other sugary drinks are tied to an increased risk of so-called pre-diabetes, a precursor to full-blown disease, but diet soda is not, a recent study suggests.

Previous studies on the link between diet sodas and diabetes have been mixed; some research pointing to a potential connection has suggested this relationship may be explained at least in part by soda drinkers being overweight or obese.

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In the current study, however, adults who routinely consumed at least one can of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages a day were 46 percent more likely to develop elevated blood sugar levels than people who rarely or never drink cola.

Higher consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with prediabetes Click To Tweet

“Emphasis should be placed on substituting sugar-sweetened beverages with water, unsweetened teas, or coffee,” said senior study author Nicola McKeown, a nutrition researcher at Tufts University in Boston.

“For daily consumers of sugary drinks, kicking the habit may be a difficult challenge, and incorporating an occasional diet soda, while increasing fluids from other sources, may be the best strategy to ultimately remove sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet,” McKeown added by email.

Globally, about one in nine adults have diabetes, and the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

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Most of these people have Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, which happens when the body can’t properly use or make enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. People with blood sugar levels that are slightly elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, are sometimes described as having “pre-diabetes” because many will go on to develop diabetes.

In the current study, researchers examined data collected on 1,685 middle-aged adults over about 14 years.

drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages. (Representational image). Pixabay

At the start of the study, none of the participants had diabetes or pre-diabetes.

They were 52 years old on average and typically overweight.

Participants completed questionnaires detailing what they ate and drank during the study period.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as colas and other carbonated beverages, as well as drinks such as lemonade and fruit punch. This didn’t include fruit juice.

People who drank the most sodas – typically around six 12-ounce cans a week – had a much greater risk of developing elevated blood sugar levels than other participants after adjusting for factors such as age, gender and weight, researchers report in the Journal of Nutrition.

Higher consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages was also associated with insulin resistance, a reduced ability to respond to the hormone insulin that is another risk factor for developing diabetes.

Even after accounting for changes in weight and other aspects of diet, the relationships between sugar-sweetened beverages and these metabolic risk factors for diabetes persisted.

Diet soda intake—defined as low-calorie cola or other carbonated low-calorie beverages— was not associated with elevated blood sugar or insulin resistance.

The study doesn’t prove soda or sugary drinks cause diabetes.

Another limitation of the study is that participants may not be representative of a typical U.S. adult, the authors note. People in the study were mostly white, middle aged and more likely to be women. They also tended not to be as overweight or thick around the middle as many U.S. adults, the authors point out.

Because pre-diabetic elevated blood sugar can often be reversed before it advances to full-blown disease, the findings suggest it makes sense for people to avoid regular sodas to minimize their risk of developing diabetes, the researchers conclude.

“Sugar-sweetened beverages have been shown to increase weight gain and risk of diabetes – including prediabetes,” Laura Rosella, a public health researcher at the University of Toronto who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

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The current study findings add to a large body of evidence suggesting that the sugar and calories in soda can contribute to the risk of obesity and diabetes, noted Dr. Robert Cohen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study.

“I wouldn’t necessarily seek out diet drinks but the choice of non-calorie containing diet drinks is not associated with further insulin resistance or pre-diabetes in the way that calorie containing drinks are,” Cohen said by email. (Reuters)

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2eontLn Journal of Nutrition, online November 9, 2016.

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Experts Say Measles Victims Dropped Below 100,000 in 2016

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Measles Victims Dropped
Foriza Begum, background, a newly arrived Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, reacts to her daughter Nosmin Fatima's scream as she receives a vaccination to prevent measles and rubella at a makeshift medical center in Teknaf, Bangladesh. VOA
  • Latest reports of WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the rate of deaths from measles has dropped.
  • As per experts, a number of people who died from measles in 2016 were about 90,000, compared to 550,000 in 2000.

The World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the rate of deaths from measles has dropped 84 percent since the beginning of a global vaccination campaign in 2000.

Experts say the number of people who died from the disease in 2016 was about 90,000, compared to more than 550,000 deaths in 2000. This marks the first time that worldwide measles deaths have fallen to less than 100,000 per year.

Robert Linkins, of the Measles and Rubella Initiative at the CDC, said in a statement that “saving an average of 1.3 million lives per year through vaccine is an incredible achievement and makes a world free of measles seem possible, even probable, in our lifetime.”

Since 2000, some 5.5 billion doses of measles vaccine have been administered to children through routine immunization services and mass vaccination campaigns. The disease is contagious through air particles and can spread quickly. The disease kills more people every year than any other vaccine-preventable disease.

But the WHO says the world is still far from reaching regional measles elimination goals. Since 2009, officials have managed to deliver a first dose of the vaccine to 85 percent of the babies who need it, but there has been no improvement in that rate in eight years. And only 64 percent of the affected population has gotten the second dose, which comes when a child is four or five years old.

The WHO says “far too many children” — about 20.8 million — have not had their first vaccine dose. Most of those children live in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The disease puts children at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis, and blindness.(VOA)

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Do You Know Which is the Unhealthiest Country in the World?

Are you living in the most unhealthy country in the world?

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Unhealthiest country in the world
Did you think you were living in one of the world's healthiest country? Think again! VOA

Geneva, September 28, 2017 : Do you know which is the unhealthiest country in the world? If you think it is some region from the African continent, you are mistaken.

According to a new study by Clinic Compare, the Czech Republic has been recognized as the unhealthiest country in the world.

Drawing upon data gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO), CIA World Factbook and the World Lung Association, 179 countries around the world were assessed on three key factors,

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Prevalence of obesity

The study thus revealed the most unhealthy country in the world – Czech Republic, and highlighted the need for citizens to change their lifestyle in order to combat life-threatening illnesses and maintain and enjoy a healthy life.

ALSO READ Live Healthy Lifestyle with these Diet Hacks

World’s most unhealthy countries

 

1. Czech Republic
2. Russia
3. Slovenia
4. Belarus
5. Slovakia
6. Hungary
7. Croatia
8. Poland
9. Luxembourg
10. Lithuania and the United States

 

As per the examination, the residents of Czech Republic positioned as the world’s greatest liquor consumers, with every individual expending 13.7 liters of liquor for each annum (around 1.5 shots per day). They additionally ranked eleventh on the list of the highest tobacco customers.

This comes as a surprise as poverty-stricken countries of Africa were instead found to be among the healthiest countries in the world.

According to the research, Eastern Europe emerged as the unhealthiest region in the world, occupying nine out of the best 10 top spots in the list.

41 per cent of the population in Samoa was further revealed to have a BMI over 30, making Oceania the world’s fattest region. Also included in the top 10 list of the fattest regions were Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati.

Healthiest Country in the World

The findings revealed that the healthiest country was Afghanistan with merely 2.7 per cent of the population having a BMI over 30. This places the country on the world’s second lowest rate of obesity.

It was further revealed that the citizens of Afghanistan consume the least recorded quantity of alcohol and smoke 83 cigarettes a year. This can be largely attributed to the nation’s laws that forbid the possession and consumption of alcohol.

The research placed Guinea as the second healthiest country, closely followed by Niger and Nepal.

ALSO READ WHO says Millions of People are Dying Pre-mature Deaths Due to Non-Communicable Diseases

World’s healthiest countries

 

1. Afghanistan

2. Guinea

3. Niger

4. Nepal

5. DR Congo

6. Eritrea

7. Malawi

8. Somalia

9. Mozambique

10. Ethiopia

 

Eight Countries from Africa made it to the list of the healthiest countries in the world, which comes as a pleasant surprise for all.

According to a WHO report released in mid-September, it was revealed that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardio-vascular diseases are an increasing cause of premature deaths all around the world, taking as many as 30 million lives annually.

These diseases cause self-inflicted damage and trace their roots to individual lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs and unhealthy or unbalanced diet.

The new findings put greater pressure on the countries that have made it to the list of unhealthy countries, thereby urging them to undertake stronger measures.

 

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‘Don’t Sensationalize or Glamorize Suicide’ Asserts WHO ; Says Media Can Play a Significant Role in Preventing Suicides

WHO scientists assert that journalists can help overcome this taboo by encouraging people to seek help and to speak openly about their distress

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A makeshift memorial for actor Robin Wlliiams is shown outside a home which was used in the filming of the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire", Aug. 15, 2014, in San Francisco. Authorities said Williams committed suicide. (VOA)

Geneva, September 11, 2017 : The World Health Organization reports about 800,000 people commit suicide every year. To mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), WHO is stressing the important role the media can play in stopping people from taking their own lives.

Worldwide, every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life. The World Health Organization reports for every suicide, 20 others, mainly young people, attempt to take their own lives. WHO says suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds.

It finds most suicides, more than 78 percent, occur in low-and middle-income countries and risk factors include mental disorders, particularly depression and anxiety resulting from alcohol use.

WHO cites growing evidence that the media can play a significant role in preventing suicide by reporting responsibly on these tragedies.

Scientist in WHO’s department of mental health and substance abuse, Alexandra Fleischmann tells VOA people are often reluctant to talk about suicide because of the stigma attached. She says journalists can help to overcome this taboo by encouraging people to seek help and to speak openly about their distress.

“It is also important to stress that the encouragement to work with the media and not just to talk about the don’ts. Don’t put it in the headlines,” she said. “Don’t put the picture of the person who died. Don’t sensationalize it. Don’t glamorize it.”

WHO warns irresponsible reporting of this sort often can trigger copycat suicides or increase the risk.

The UN health agency reports the most common methods of suicide are self-poisoning with pesticide and firearms. It says many of these deaths could be prevented by restricting access to these means. (VOA)