Purpose: This cohort study investigated the association between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and diet soda consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Japanese men.
Methods: The participants were 2,037 employees of a factory in Japan. We measured consumption of SSB and diet soda using a self-administered diet history questionnaire. The incidence of diabetes was determined in annual medical examinations over a 7-year period. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for diabetes were estimated after adjusting for age, body mass index, family history, and dietary and other lifestyle factors.
Results: During the study, 170 participants developed diabetes. The crude incidence rates (/1,000 person-years) across participants who were rare/never SSB consumers, <1 serving/week, ≥ 1 serving/week and <1 serving/day, and ≥ 1 serving/day were 15.5, 12.7, 14.9, and 17.4, respectively. The multivariate-adjusted HR compared to rare/never SSB consumers was 1.35 (95 % CI 0.80-2.27) for participants who consumed ≥ 1 serving/day SSB. Diet soda consumption was significantly associated with the incident risk of diabetes (P for trend = 0.013), and multivariate-adjusted HRs compared to rare/never diet soda consumers were 1.05 (0.62-1.78) and 1.70 (1.13-2.55), respectively, for participants who consumed <1 serving/week and ≥ 1 serving/week.
Conclusions: Consumption of diet soda was significantly associated with an increased risk for diabetes in Japanese men. Diet soda is not always effective at preventing type 2 diabetes even though it is a zero-calorie drink.