Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

More Sugar in Food Supply = More Diabetes


And, this rise was independent of obesity, physical activity and other factors that might contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, the investigators found.

But, when the researchers looked at 150 additional calories per person a day from other sources, they found only a 0.1 percent rise in the rate of diabetes.

Basu said there are likely a number of ways that sugar might contribute directly to the development of diabetes, such as increasing insulin resistance and inflammation.

However, it's important to note that this study doesn't prove that sugar causes diabetes, it only found an association between them. Basu also noted that the study was done on a population level, so it doesn't predict an individual's risk of type 2 diabetes based on the amount of sugar consumed.

The study also wasn't able to distinguish between types of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup or natural sugar. Other research has suggested that high-fructose corn syrup, in particular, may be linked to higher rates of diabetes. A recent study in the journal Global Public Health found that the rates of type 2 diabetes were 20 percent greater in countries where the use of high-fructose corn syrup was higher.

For its part, a sugar industry group agreed that the inability to differentiate between sugars was a significant limitation of the study.

"The correlation discussed in this paper relies on lumping together natural sugar with the man-made replacement, high-fructose corn syrup," the Washington, D.C.-based Sugar Association said in a prepared statement. "It is difficult to reconcile the correlation drawn between sugar and diabetes [in this study] given the fact that Americans are consuming far less natural sugar today than we were for most of the last 100 years," they noted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that type 2 diabetes is a complex disease, and that its development is multi-factorial. "Eating a lot of sugar is not good, especially the sugar substitutes like fructose and sucrose. But, I wouldn't underplay the importance of exercise and caloric intake," Zonszein said.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner