Despite what you may read in frequent stories that come out in the media, sugar-sweetened beverages are not a unique driver of public health concerns such as obesity and diabetes. Simply put, it is wrong to say beverages cause disease.
Recently, the British Medical Journal published a “study” claiming that our products “may give rise to” diabetes cases. This ambiguous wording used in a press release to promote the research makes it sound as if the study found something. It didn’t.
This can be put another way. “This study failed to show any cause and effect relationship between beverages and diabetes.” The authors of the study acknowledge that their own findings do not show that drinking beverages cause any type of chronic disease.
This study merely looked at other studies and drew a conclusion that drinking beverages “is associated” with some illnesses. As we have said in the past, association and causation are very different. An association is like saying umbrellas cause rain because one finds them wherever it is raining.
Here is the most important fact: According to leading health organizations, beverage consumption is not a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This study does not change that fact. Diabetes is caused by a variety of factors we cannot control including genetics, gender and age, and some that we can, such as diet.
That’s what the beverage industry is focused on. Through our Balance Calories Initiative we are providing people with the information and options they need to achieve balance through what they eat, drink and do.