Daily Consumption of Sugary Drinks Linked to Several Types of Cancer

Maricruz Casares
Julio 14, 2019

While some people who drink sugary beverages in excess won't be negatively affected by them, majority are hurt physically in one way or another.

Still, beverage industry groups claim that sugary drinks are safe to drink.

Consumption of sugary drinks has increased worldwide during the last few decades.

Yes, but: Researchers could only observe the effects, not establish cause and effect.

101,257 adults were included in this study who completed at least two 24 hour online validated dietary questionnaires created to measure intake of more than 3,000 distinct food and beverage items, who were followed up with for a maximum of 9 years; risk factors for cancer such as age, sex, smoking status, family history, and physical activity levels among others were taken into account.

Based on the data, the study found that drinking sugary beverages every day - including 100-percent fruit juice and other sweet liquids - was associated with higher rates of cancer, particularly breast cancer at 693 out of 2,193 cancer cases, prostate cancer at 291 cases, and colorectal cancer at 166 cases.

Daily consumption of sugary drinks - sugar-sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices - and artificially sweetened or diet beverages were calculated and first cases of cancer reported by participants were validated by medical records and linked with health insurance national databases.

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French scientists say drinking sugary drinks such as juices and sodas may increase the risk of cancer. While, according to the American Beverage Association, sugary drinks are safe to consume, they definitely are not safe to consume in excess.

They added that their findings could support existing recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, as well as policy actions such as taxation and marketing restrictions that targeted sugary drinks.

The researchers found that participants who consumed around 3 ounces of soda, juice, or similar other beverages daily had an overall 18-percent increase in cancer risk and a 22-percent spike in breast cancer risk.

Another possibility is that additives, such as 4-methylimidazole, which is found in drinks that contain caramel coloring, could play a role in cancer formation. This has been convincingly linked to obesity, which is recognised as a strong risk factor for many cancers.

According to the study published in the journal of BMJ, participants completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, created to measure usual intake of 3,300 different food and beverage items and were followed up for a maximum of 9 years (2009-2018). Risk factors for cancer, such as age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking status and physical activity, were considered in the study.

Amelia Lake from Teesside University in the United Kingdom said that although the study did not confirm the causal relationship between sugar and cancer, it did indicate that it is important to reduce sugar intake.

Excessive intake of sugars also increases weight gain. But again, researchers say sugar is not the only culprit. She was not involved in the current study.

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