INTRODUCTION: Beverage consumption is a modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D), but there is insufficient evidence to inform the suitability of substituting 1 type of beverage for another. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of T2D when consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) was replaced with consumption of fruit juice, milk, coffee, or tea. METHODS: In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct case-cohort study of 8 European countries (n = 27,662, with 12,333 cases of incident T2D, 1992-2007), beverage consumption was estimated at baseline by dietary questionnaires. Using Prentice-weighted Cox regression adjusting for other beverages and potential confounders, we estimated associations of substituting 1 type of beverage for another on incident T2D. RESULTS: Mean ± SD of estimated consumption of SSB was 55 ± 105 g/d. Means ± SDs for the other beverages were as follows: fruit juice, 59 ± 101 g/d; milk, 209 ± 203 g/d; coffee, 381 ± 372 g/d; and tea, 152 ± 282 g/d. Substituting coffee for SSBs by 250 g/d was associated with a 21% lower incidence of T2D (95% CI: 12%, 29%). The rate difference was -12.0 (95% CI: -20.0, -5.0) per 10,000 person-years among adults consuming SSBs ≥250 g/d (absolute rate = 48.3/10,000). Substituting tea for SSBs was estimated to lower T2D incidence by 22% (95% CI: 15%, 28%) or -11.0 (95% CI: -20.0, -2.6) per 10,000 person-years, whereas substituting fruit juice or milk was estimated not to alter T2D risk significantly. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a potential benefit of substituting coffee or tea for SSBs for the primary prevention of T2D and may help formulate public health recommendations on beverage consumption in different populations.
beverages, diabetes, dietary guidelines, epidemiology, sugar-sweetened beverages