Diabetes is all about sugar intake says massive worldwide study

Diabetes is all about sugar intake says massive worldwide study

Increased availability of sugar may be the single most important driver of the worldwide diabetes epidemic.  What a surprise.

“Sugar consumption is fueling the global epidemic of diabetes and reducing that consumption is an essential step in controlling the rise of the disorder”
Dr. Walter Willett, a nutritionist and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health Willett.

“This is as good as medicine gets in terms of proving [sugar = diabetes] causation”
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF.

“Sugar availability appears to be uniquely correlated to diabetes prevalence independent of overweight and obesity prevalence rates, unlike other food types and total consumption, and independent of other changes in economic and social change such as urbanization, aging, changes to household income, sedentary lifestyles, and tobacco or alcohol use”
Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, Stanford University, California.

What did the 10-year, 175-country study tell us?

  • The prevalence of diabetes increased by 27% between 2000-2010 in the 175 nations
  • Countries with ‘high sugar availability’ (300 calories per person per day), led to a rise in diabetes prevalence
  • In countries where the incidence of diabetes went up, the availability of sugar had increased earlier - and in roughly the same proportion
  • Decreasing availability of sugar over time was associated with falling rates of diabetes
  • A 150-calorie daily increase in the availability of sugar raises the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes by 1.1%
  • None of the other types of food – wholegrains, oils, fruits and vegetables - appeared to have any effect on diabetes prevalence
  • The researchers used data on sugar availability because the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization tracks market availability of sugar
  • In 50 years, sugar has added 62 new calories available every day to each man, woman and child on Earth
  • Most of that extra sugar has been produced in the last 10 years
  • World Health Organisation estimates that diabetes deaths will increase by two-thirds to about 5.7 million by the year 2030

Study by Basu S, et al “The relationship of sugar to population-level diabetes prevalence: an econometric analysis of repeated cross-sectional data” as published in PLoS ONE 2013; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057873.  With research and support from Stanford, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.  As reported by The Los Angeles Times on February 27, 2013, and by MedPage Today on March 01, 2013.

Posted: Monday 30 September 2013