Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages or juice with water is associated with a slightly lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent University of North Carolina (UNC) study. The large, long-term study followed more than 80,000 women for over a decade and found a 10 percent higher risk of developing diabetes for each cup of sugar-sweetened drink or juice consumed each day. In addition, replacing just one of those drinks with plain water each day may result in a seven to eight percent decrease in risk. Even with that small reduction in risk, the prevalence of diabetes may fall from 10 in every 100 women to nine in every 100 women. The amount of water women consumed each day, whether one cup or over six cups, did not change the their risk of developing diabetes, but drinking more sugar-sweetened drinks consumed each day increased the risk. "It is essentially not that water helps, except with hydration, but that the others hurt," says UNC professor Barry Popkin. The risk of developing diabetes was even further reduced by 12 percent to 17 percent when a cup of sweetened beverage was replaced with a cup of coffee or tea.