A few sips of soda or juice daily may up cancer risk, news study finds
The study results suggest the relationship was “strongly driven by the sugar content,” although other chemical additives may play a role.
New research has found that even a small increase in the amount of sugary drinks you consume may increase your risk for cancer.
Drinking about 3.4 ounces per day of sugary drinks was associated with a 22 percent increased risk of breast cancer and an 18 percent increased risk of cancer overall, an observational study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal found. A typical soda can contains 12 ounces.
Sugary drinks in the study include 100% fruit juices, soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, and hot beverages with more than 5 percent sugar.
“Given the large consumption of sugary drinks in Western countries, these beverages would represent a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention, beyond their well established impact on cardiometabolic health,” study authors wrote.
Researchers said the link between sugary drinks and the risk of cancer may be partly explained by their effect on weight gain, given that obesity is considered a risk factor for several types of cancer.
But their results suggest the relationship was “strongly driven by the sugar content,” although other chemical additives may play a role.
Study authors noted that more research needs to be done on the subject, given that the study was observational and thus can’t prove that sugary drinks directly cause cancer and other confounding factors can’t be ruled out.
The research found no link between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased cancer risk. Questions about artificial sweeteners and cancer arose when studies from the 1970s suggested a possible link to bladder cancer in laboratory animals, according to the National Cancer Institute, but subsequent studies have found no clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans.
Researchers analyzed data collected between 2009 and 2017 from a nutrition survey in France, called NutriNet-Santé, involving 101,257 healthy adults.
The consumption of sugary drinks was tracked through at least two daily diet recall questionnaires designed to measure participants’ intake of 3,300 food and beverage items, including 97 types of sugary drinks.
During the study, nearly 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, including 693 cases of breast cancer.
Beverage industry groups say sugary drinks are still safe to drink.
”It’s important for people to know that all beverages – either with sugar or without are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet,” Danielle Smotkin, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association said in a statement.
”That said, America’s leading beverage companies are working together to support consumer efforts to reduce the sugar they consume from our beverages by providing more choices with less sugar or zero sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information right up front.”
Read more at usatoday.com.