Researchers Say Sugar-Sweetened Sports Drinks Causing More Diabetes Cases

March 8, 2010 7:23 a.m. EST

David Goodhue – AHN Reporter

San Francisco, CA, United States (AHN) – A new report from the University of California, San Francisco suggests more than 100,000 cases of diabetes over 10 years were the result of the increased consumption of sugar-sweetened sports drinks, juices and sodas.

The researchers said in a statement that the increased consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks from 1990 to 2000 contributed to 130,000 new cases of diabetes, 14,000 cases of coronary heart disease and 50,000 “additional life-years burdened by coronary heart disease.”

The report states that sugar-sweetened beverages, which do not include drinks that are 100 percent fruit juice, have between 120 and 200 calories per drink. These drinks, the researchers say, are contributing to the rising incidence of obesity in the United States.

The researchers blame these beverages on an additional $300 to $550 million in costs to the nation’s health care system.

The researchers presented their study to the 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in San Francisco this week.

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Fast-Food Prices Influence Weight, Diabetes

3/9/2010 9:18:00 AM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—A new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study revealed a direct correlation between fast-food pricing and weight and risk for diabetes. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found weight and diabetes risk decreased for people in communities where fast-food prices increased. Conversely, when fast-food prices fell, then consumption, weight and diabetes risks rose.

Researchers used data from more than 5,000 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. When it started in 1985, CARDIA participants lived in four U.S. cities. In the intervening years, participants have moved to 48 states. Researchers collected information on the average prices of products, including restaurant pizza, burgers, soft drinks and whole milk in the counties in which each participant lived. Prices were adjusted to 2006 levels.

When researchers analyzed the diet, weight and insulin levels of study participants, they found that when prices of fast foods and sodas went up just 10 percent, participants consumed on average 7.1 percent fewer calories from soda and 11.5 percent fewer calories from pizza. That translates to about 56 calories a day less, which corresponds to a reduction of about 3 to 4 pounds a year per person. The participants who found their fast food prices rose also gained less weight and had a lower risk for diabetes based on a test for fasting insulin (HOMA-IR).

“For these fast foods, taxes would represent the most effective way to reduce adult obesity that we have today, based on this research,” the researchers wrote.


New Cellphone-Like All-in-One Glucose Meter from Finland

A small company in Finland called Mendor has caught the diabetes-consumer-design bug.  The glucose meter they’re developing by the same name bears a striking resemblance to a cellphone, with the lancing device and test strips built right in, making it extremely portable and easy to use. God knows I’m a big fan of all-in-one D-products that reduce our hassles.

I like the look and feel of this meter, and the ease of use.

Like the OnQ, the Mendor all-in-one meter is convenient and discreet. It requires no carry case or any other extra components (separate lancing device or strip vial).  It fits easily into a pocket or purse and it can be used for days and weeks without no need to frequently reload strips (depending on how many strips you use per day).

The Mendor device is also fully mechanically operated, so there is no noisy electric motor or beeps.

The “magic” of Mendor is apparently the unique web-based data logging software that comes with the meter. According to the company, it “is not like all the log books out there, but rather helps diabetics at home and professionals at practices to determine the current state of patients treatment with a couple of easy steps.” Since it’s not out yet, the real benefits of their program remain to be seen. But I like their thinking, anyway.

So it gets high marks on form factor and user-friendliness, but there are limits to the innovation here; no wireless technology is employed yet, and no — the meter does not interact with any pumps or CGM systems, even via cable at this time.

And now to real-world adoption issues: the biggest open question is pricing for patients — make-or-break in my book. According to the company, exact test strip pricing is not set yet. Assuming strips are loaded on a cartridge, how many will each cartridge contain and what is the cost??

The Mendor meter and software will be launched in Finland and EU markets during 2010. USA launch is planned to take place during 2011, so let’s keep our eyes peeled: how will they fare vs. Intuity’s device? Or something else, even cooler, that might come out of this year’s Design Challenge?

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