Beverage intake, diabetes, and glucose control of adults in America

Ann Epidemiol. 2006 Sep;16(9):688-91. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2005.11.009. Epub 2006 Feb 2.


Purpose: Beverages are important components of diet and a route for the intake of caffeine, ethanol, and other bioactive substances. The aim of the study is to examine the association between type of beverages consumed and glucose control in American adults with and without diabetes.

Methods: Diabetes status, glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]) level, and 1-month recall food frequency questionnaires were all collected in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988 to 1994), based on a nationally representative sample of the noninstitutionalized civilian US population. We used regression and other methods for clustered data to examine the association of HbA1c levels with self-reported intake of carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, tea, juices, and milk in participants aged 18 to 75 years with and without diabetes.

Results: Adults with diabetes reported drinking half the amount of alcohol as adults without diabetes. Compared with nondrinkers, subjects who had 30 or more drinks per month of alcohol had mean HbA1c levels 1.2 units less (p < 0.001) in persons with diabetes and 0.2% less (p < 0.001) in persons without diabetes. Adults with diabetes reported drinking three times as much diet soda as adults without diabetes. However, in adults with diabetes who had one or more drinks of diet soda per day, HbA1c level was 0.7 units greater (p < 0.001) compared with those who drank none.

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption, at least in moderate amounts, correlates with better glucose control. There is a correlation between drinking diet soda and glucose control in adults with diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Beverages* / analysis
  • Beverages* / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Milk / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents