Statement by State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines on New Study Linking Sugary Drink Consumption to Type 2 Diabetes

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 29, 2010) - State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today issued the following statement:

"Over the past two years we have engaged in highly publicized efforts to implement public health policies to address the current obesity epidemic and its consequences, including diabetes. Two of these initiatives – a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which failed to win legislative support, and a current proposal to disallow Food Stamp purchases of SSBs – are based on strong scientific evidence linking the consumption of these beverages to increased obesity rates and diabetes."

"Now, a new study just published in the journal Diabetes Care provides further support that consumption of sugary beverages increases the risk for diabetes. Using a large study group of over 300,000 participants, researchers found that individuals who consumed 1 to 2 servings of sugary beverages a day had a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than individuals who consumed less than 1 serving a month."

"The authors of the study concluded: 'In addition to weight gain, higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with development of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. These data provide empirical evidence that intake of SSBs should be limited to reduce obesity-related risk of chronic metabolic diseases'." (The research article can be viewed at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/11/2477.full)

"Despite solid science linking the consumption of sugared beverages to obesity and diabetes, the well-financed beverage industry has continued to deny the science and spend millions of dollars on advertising, marketing and lobbying tactics to persuade consumers to continue drinking large quantities of these beverages. It is time that New Yorkers recognize that these efforts are not motivated by an interest in promoting consumer freedom or good health, but are focused on protecting profits."

A partial list of studies demonstrating a link between sugared beverages, obesity and obesity-related diseases can be viewed at: http://health.ny.gov/prevention/obesity/sugared_beverages/studies/