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New Study: Diet Soda May Cause More Diabetes Than Regular Soft Drinks

LES ECHOS ( France)


PARIS - A new French study has found that the risk of diabetes may actually increase more with the consumption of diet or light soft drinks than with sugary ones.

Researchers at Inserm, the French biomedical and public health research institution, followed the health and consumption habits of 66,188 women since 1993, with the objective to track the link between sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

It was thought that drinking light drinks would reduce the risk of diabetes. But in results presented Thursday in Paris, the study found that the risk of diabetes is actually higher when drinking light drinks than with sugary drinks, French business daily Les Echos reports.

The study, to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that women who consume light drinks have a higher consumption rate than those consuming normal sugary drinks (2.8 glasses/week vs. 1.6 glasses/week in average). Moreover, even when consumed in equal quantities, light drinks are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes: a 15% higher chance for a consumption of 0.5 liters/week and 59% for 1.5 liters/week.

In order to know if the risk is only associated with light drinks, researchers Françoise Clavel-Chapelon and Guy Fagherazzi compared their effects to those produced with pressed fruit juices, but found no direct association with developing the disease.

Fagherazzi said further study is still needed. “We still need a body of evidence," he said, according to Les Echos. "We are not here to say that people need to stop drinking this or this type of drink.”

Among the mechanisms that might explain this phenomenon, they note that sugars contained in sugary drinks cause a spike in insulin and the repetition of such can produce resistance to insulin, an anomaly that causes diabetes. As for aspartame, one of the principal sweeteners used today, it can cause a high glycemic level (spike in blood glucose), and thus an increase in insulin levels, comparable to those caused by sucrose (sugar).

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Kyiv Reality Check: What Ukraine's Friends Say Out Loud — And Whisper To Each Other

Europe's foreign ministers traveled together to Kyiv yesterday to reaffirm their support for Ukraine. It is necessary after the first signs of "fatigue" in Western support, from a Polish about-face to the victory of a pro-Russian prime minister in Slovakia.

photo of Josep Borrell listening to Zelensky speak

EU's chief of foreign affairs Josep Borrell and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during the EU-Ukraine meeting in Kyiv

Johanna Leguerre, EU foreign ministry via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — The symbolism is strong: for the first time ever, Europe's foreign ministers meet in a country outside the European Union. But it looks like a diplomatic ‘Coué’. The Coué method, named for a French psychologist, holds that a person tends to repeat a message to convince oneself as much as to convince others.

In Kyiv on Monday, the European foreign ministers solemnly reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine, perhaps because it's suddenly no longer as obvious to them as to the rest of the world.

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There has indeed been some hesitation as of late; and it was undoubtedly time for this display of unity, which has stood as one of the major diplomatic achievements since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Hungarian foreign minister was notably absent from the family photo, due to his "Putinophilia", and his Polish counterpart was officially ill, which happens to coincide with the recent Polish-Ukrainian quarrel. It's also a safe bet that, in a few weeks' time, the Slovakian minister could also be missing from such a gathering, following Sunday's election victory of the pro-Russian Robert Fico.

These nuances aside, there was a message of firmness in Kyiv, embodied by the bit of alliteration from German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who predicted that Europe that would soon go "from Lisbon to Luhansk" — Luhansk, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, currently annexed by Russia.

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