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Diabetes Watch Blog: Too much sugar raises diabetes risk in Latino kids

Return to Diabetes Watch Blog Main Diabetes News Type-2 Diabetes  

Dec 18, 2005

Too much sugar raises diabetes risk in Latino kids

Too much sugar raises diabetes risk in Latino kids
Overweight Latino children who eat lots of sugar and drink sugary drinks may show signs of poor beta cell function, which is associated with a higher risk of type-2 diabetes, according to the results of a new study.

"If left untreated, overweight and poor diet among these children could have disastrous consequences for minority health and the health-care costs for future generations," Dr. Michael I. Goran, of the University of Southern California's Institute for Prevention Research said.

Previous research findings indicate that Latino children in the United States are more often overweight than are non-Latino white children. Latinos have also been shown to have a higher risk for diabetes than their white peers.

Goran and his colleagues studied 63 overweight children, ages 9 to 13 years, enrolled in the ongoing Study of Latinos at Risk Diabetes Project.

They found that children's sugar consumption was the only dietary component associated with insulin dynamics. Sugary foods and drinks accounted for more than 40 percent of the total carbohydrates consumed by these children, and almost half of their sugar consumption was in the form of sugary drinks. On average, children drank 2.5 daily servings of drinks with added sugar.

This high sugar intake was associated with lower beta cell function - a measure of the pancreas' ability to produce insulin - and a lower acute insulin response - how much insulin beta cells produce in response to glucose, study findings indicate.

These findings suggest that "high sugar levels may contribute to deterioration in beta cell function," Goran said.

JoAnn      



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Diabetes Watch Blog: Too much sugar raises diabetes risk in Latino kids

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