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July 30, 2002

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from :

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:

I have three children (ages 11, 14 and 16), and while they (nor their dad and I) do not have diabetes, my father had type 2, and I am concerned about the amount of sugar that children consume these days (chocolate bars, soft drinks, etc.). Someone advised me that there is no scientific evidence that increased sugar intake leads to the development of diabetes. Is this true?


From: DTeam Staff

Excessive ingestion of sugar or of foods like some starches that are quickly converted to and absorbed as glucose does not strictly cause diabetes, but they stress the ability of the islet cells in the pancreas to produce enough insulin to metabolise the sugar. This effect is probably rather small in type 1 diabetes. but it is of importance in relation to type 2 in which anything that promotes excessive weight gain will in turn lead to obesity related insulin resistance with the ultimate potential for diabetes.