Drinking a can of cola a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by a fifth, according to research.
The largest study of the link between soft-drink consumption and Type 2 diabetes in Europe has found that the sweetened beverages not only cause weight gain, which is associated with a higher rate of diabetes, but also increases the risk of the condition independently.
Almost one in 20 adults in the UK has diabetes, of which 2.6 million are diagnosed and 500,000 are undiagnosed.
The number of cases is expected to exceed 4 million in the UK by 2025.
The study of more than 12,000 people with Type 2 diabetes whose diets were compared with 16,000 controls in nine European |countries, including the UK, showed that those who drank one can of sweetened soft drink a day had a 22% increased risk of diabetes.
The risk remained almost as high, at 18%, even after account was taken of how overweight the individuals were and how much they ate.