The hidden danger in being naturally thin

Believe it or not, I have many patients who have never suffered with a weight problem. I personally think they are freaks of nature, but that’s just the former “fat kid” in me who can’t imagine what it’s like not to have to worry about weight. One thing I’ve noticed with many of these people, though, is that just because the number on the scale looks good, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other health-related red flags. After all, as I explained the other week, weight is only one marker of overall health.

For instance, my thin patients almost always have a harder time making the dietary changes necessary for true, lasting health and longevity. The most common excuse being, “I can eat anything I want and not gain weight so it doesn’t affect me.”

In fact, one of my “skinny” patients told me last week that he only has one or two cans of Coke per month. So no harm, no foul, right doc?

Sorry to have to break it to you “Slim Jim,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sugar affects us no matter what weight we are.

And I have a new study to prove it.

According to data from 17 observational studies that included over 38,200 people, researchers from the Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in England found that regular soda drinkers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

No matter how heavy or thin they were.

They know this because researchers did not factor in these people’s weight as a criteria.

Specifically, they found that any person, thin or heavy, has an 18% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a 10 year period with every serving of sugar sweetened beverages they consume.

The study authors said these findings were a surprise to mainstream health experts. The consensus has always been that sugar intake promotes weight gain. And then, in turn, body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which is a pre-cursor to diabetes.

But this discovery was no surprise to me. I’ve been talking for years about how being thin isn’t a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to diabetes.

Let’s break it down by the numbers, using those two cans of Coke my patient believed were “no big deal”…

A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 39 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of almost 10 teaspoons. So two of those a month is 78 grams of sugar, or 20 teaspoons. That’s almost a 1/2 cup of sugar. Just from two cans of coke!

Sure, your body can handle this every once in a while. But that ability wears out when your body is forced to do it over and over again (every month, for instance).

This avalanche of sugar also affects digestion by altering the healthy microbial colonies in your gut. And research shows disrupting your microbiome also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

So what does that mean in the long run? It means that if people continue to consume sugary beverages on a regular basis there could be 2 million new cases of type 2 diabetes in the United States by 2020. That is on top of the 29 million Americans who already have type 2 diabetes.

Bingo! I’ve been talking about how sugar kills for over 20 years and finally someone is listening…

Unfortunately — though not surprisingly — the ridiculous American Beverage Association had to chime in and try to denounce this study. They claim that because this study was not based on clinical trials, the findings cannot prove a direct link between drinking sugary beverages and developing type 2 diabetes.

They also said: “Even so, our industry is committed to being part of real solutions to public health challenges.”

What sort of “real solutions”? Well apparently, the Beverage Association is rolling out a new initiative called “Balance Calories” that aims to reduce the calories in beverages by 20% by the year 2025.

Just one-fifth in 10 years? Seriously?

If you ask me, the Beverage Association should be outlawed as the criminal syndicate and public health threat it really is.

But I digress…The point here is that your waistline isn’t the only factor involved when it comes to heading disease off at the pass. If you don’t make good choices in terms of what you eat — and drink — you will eventually find yourself on the slippery slope to diabetes and all of its complications.

As I’ve said many, many times before: Sugar kills. And the sooner you ditch it from your diet, the better.