BACKGROUND: Hyperglycemia forms a direct and independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular comorbidities in type 2 diabetes. Consumption of sucrose-sweetened soft drinks might further increase the prevalence of hyperglycemic episodes. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess glycemic control in type 2 diabetic subjects and healthy lean and obese control subjects under strict dietary standardization but otherwise free-living conditions, with and without the consumption of soft drinks. DESIGN: Obese type 2 diabetic men (n = 11) and lean (n = 10) and obese (n = 10) normoglycemic male control subjects participated in a randomized crossover study. The subjects were provided with a standardized diet in 2 periods, during which they consumed 250 mL water with or without (control) sucrose (37.5 g) 2 h after breakfast and lunch. Blood glucose concentrations were assessed by continuous glucose monitoring. RESULTS: In the type 2 diabetic subjects, the mean 24-h glucose concentrations were significantly elevated (9.1 +/- 0.6 mmol/L), and hyperglycemia (glucose >10 mmol/L) was evident over 33 +/- 8% (8 +/- 2 h) of a 24-h period (P < 0.01). Hyperglycemia was rarely present in the normoglycemic lean and obese control subjects (5 +/- 2%/24 h for both). Consumption of 75 g sucrose, equivalent to 2 cans of a soft drink, did not further augment the prevalence of hyperglycemia throughout the day in any group. CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetic subjects taking oral blood glucose-lowering medication experience hyperglycemia during most of the daytime. Moderate consumption of sucrose-sweetened beverages does not further increase the prevalence of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic subjects or in normoglycemic lean or obese men.