Sugary drinks such as sodas, juices and sports drinks are considered liquid sugar, which are usually high in calories and enter the body rapidly. Because they are beverages, sugary drinks usually mean that people who drink them consume more calories, which contributes to obesity and the risk for type 2 diabetes.

More about sugary drinks and diabetes

When we consume more calories than we need, our body stores these calories as fat, which contributes to obesity. In the United States, obesity is one of the leading risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In one study from 2015, sugary drinks were linked to 184,000 deaths. Fruit juices are some of the most over-looked offenders. Fruit juices, even if natural, contain liquid sugar, which is high in calories and is processed rapidly by the body. The body must release more insulin to reduce this sugar-load. Higher insulin levels lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Many Latinos love sugary drinks. Often, young children and infants start drinking sugary drinks at an early age and continue this habit into adulthood. Sugary drinks now contribute to 47% of added sugars in the American diet. Latino families can help reduce their children’s risk of obesity and diabetes by limiting sugary drinks, including fruit juices. Milk, water and flavored water are healthier choices that can prevent early death and reduce the risk of diabetes.

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