Study Suggests That the Beverage Industry Paid for Skewed Research About Sugary Drinks
Sweetened beverages are widely recognized as a major contributor to the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics. In fact, the widespread consumption of sugary drinks remains one of the biggest public health concerns today—soda and sports drinks are the top source of calories in teens’ diets, and the beverage industry in the U.S. spends billions of dollars on marketing sweetened beverages, even while countless studies show their link to everything from weight gain to metabolic syndrome to fatty liver disease.
Yet, strangely, several outlier studies have found no link between sugary beverages and health problems. Coincidence or cover-up? A new analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed 60 studies analyzing sugary drinks published between the years of 2001 and 2016 and found that every single study claiming no link to obesity or diabetes—26 in total—was funded by the beverage industry. Of the 60 studies reviewed, 34 reported a strong link between these beverages and health risks, and only one of them was industry-funded.
Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that the industry seems to be “manipulating contemporary scientific processes to create controversy and advance their business interests at the expense of the public’s health.” In other words, it looks like Big Soda paid for misleading research to be published about the safety of sugary drinks in order to keep making a profit.
Dean Schillinger, MD, the lead author of the study, told Consumer Reports: “Our findings support the notion that sugar-sweetened beverages do indeed cause diabetes and obesity. Science is never 100 percent certain, but based on what we know now, I’d say we’ve moved away from controversy and much closer to fact.”
The data is clear—tossing the sugary drinks and foods is a necessity to reversing obesity and preventing as well as managing type 2 diabetes. But there are many other lifestyle factors that also need to be addressed. Finding the right physician to help you implement particular lifestyle changes can dramatically shift your health. Physicians within the BodyLogicMD network specialize in helping patients prevent, treat, and reverse these conditions without drugs or surgery.
Some of the strategies they often recommend include:
- Switching to a whole-foods, unprocessed diet to reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar.
- Getting the right nutrients in the form of both food and supplements, which can help normalize insulin levels and address nutrient deficiencies.
- Getting the right forms of exercise to lower insulin levels.
- Controlling stress through meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and other methods, as chronic stress drives cortisol and blood sugar dysfunction.
- Improving sleep, which improves insulin sensitivity.
In addition, research shows that men with type 2 diabetes may benefit from bioidentical testosterone therapy, which has been shown to lower insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and potentially even reduce the need for diabetic medications.
If you or a loved one is struggling with obesity or type 2 diabetes, there is a lot that can be done in your daily life to improve your health beyond taking prescription medications. In fact, making certain lifestyle changes often allows BodyLogicMD patients to cut down or totally eliminate their prescription drugs