Sugary Drinks Linked To Increased Cancer Risk

A new study says that sugary beverages are linked to an increased risk of cancer. This research involved more than 100,000 participants. It found that 100 ml of soda a day can increase overall cancer risk by 18%. The same quantity of soda can increase breast cancer risk by 22%. The BMJ journal published this study on Wednesday.

This is not the first study to find an association between soda consumption and health problems. Another recent study suggests that sugary drinks are linked to cardiovascular disease. The Circulation journal published that study.

The Study – Sodas Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

For the research, scientists looked at the data of 101,257 French adults. These participants were overall healthy and are part of another ongoing study called the French NutriNet-Santé. 79% of them were women and 21% were men. Their average age was 42 years. They filled two questionnaires and researchers tracked them for a period of more than 9 years.

Researchers found the participants’ consumption of sugar through the questionnaires. These questioned them about their intake of 3,300 different eatables and drinkables. Researchers noted participants’ consumption of sugary drinks, artificially sweetened beverages or diet drinks. They also looked at the cases of cancer as reported by participants.

Claims were validated by their medical records and health insurance national databases. The study found that men consumed more sugary beverages than women. Their intake was 90.3 ml every day whereas that of women was 74.6 ml. Other risk factors such as exercise, smoking, family history, etc. were also considered.

At the average age of 59, 2,193 cases of cancer were diagnosed among participants. Of these, there were 693 breast cancer cases, 291 prostrate cancer cases, and 166 colorectal cases.

What Did the Study Find?

By analyzing the findings, researchers established a link between consumption of sugary beverages and cancer. They said that drinking even a quarter of a can on a daily basis increased risk of several types of cancers, including breast cancer. It can be said that the main culprit among the ingredients was sugar.

Sugar itself increases the risk of weight gain and obesity which are a risk factor for cancer. However, even consumers of pure fruit juice developed cancer risk. This means researchers need to focus more on what caused the link between cancer and sugary beverages. The cause can also artificial ingredients.

Researchers didn’t find a link between cancer and the consumption of diet beverages. However, the number of people who consumed diet drinks was pretty low. Therefore, in this regard, researchers couldn’t conclude much. However, they  did warn against the excess consumption of soda overall.

Limitations of the Study

This study was an observational one and didn’t investigate the cause and effect. This is a major limitation as it could be that cancer development was due to another underlying health issue. However, the study does stress that sugar intake must be reduced. This is not the first study to find the harmful effects of the consumption of sugary beverages on health.