Just two fizzy drinks a week can raise a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers warn.
Sugary drinks such as cola and lemonade are known to lead to diabetes by causing a spike in blood sugar levels.
A review of 36 studies has now found that having these drinks twice a week could put someone in greater danger of the condition affecting more than 3 million people in England. Two drinks in a week, according to one study, raises the risk of diabetes by 42 per cent.
Experts say drinks with added sugar, which also include fruit juice, cause the body to think it is being attacked by sugar and release insulin. When the pancreas does this repeatedly, the body becomes insulin resistant which causes diabetes.
Professor Faadiel Essop, a co-author of the research from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, said: The findings demonstrate there is a clear need for public education about the harmful effects of excess consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.'
Teenagers consume the equivalent of a bathtub of sugary drinks every year, according to Cancer Research UK.