Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks could dramatically reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, scientists say.
Researchers from Harvard University are presenting new evidence which shows replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with water can lead to weight loss and help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by seven per cent.
Professor Frank Hu, from the Harvard School of Public Health, said: ‘There is convincing evidence that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk of obesity and diabetes, and emerging evidence that these beverages increase the risk for heart disease.
‘To reduce risk of obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, it is important to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and replace them with healthier choices such as water and unsweetened tea or coffee.’
More than 2.8 million people in the UK have the chronic condition of diabetes, while another one million have it without realising, according to NHS figures.
People who develop the Type 2 condition lose the ability to break down glucose into energy, which causes blood-sugar levels to rise.
The immediate symptoms of hyperglycaemia include feeling thirsty and drowsy. It can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can eventually cause unconsciousness and even death.
Diabetes raises the risk of heart disease by up to five times. Over time it can cause sight problems and nerve damage leading to foot ulcers.
Patients are encouraged to exercise more and eat a healthier diet to help control the condition.
Diabetes UK says 10 per cent of total NHS spending goes towards treating the condition and its complications.