Drinking Sugary Drinks Can Increase Your Cancer Risk Up to 18%

Sugar in fruit juice may raise risk of cancer, study finds

All kinds! It seems that the main culprit is sugar itself, and not artificial additives or added sugar, as the increased cancer risk was observed in consumers of pure fruit juice as well.

A new study published Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ looked at more than 100,000 French adults and found that drinking 100 milliliters of a sugary drink per day, which equates to about a third of a typical can of soda, increases a person's overall cancer risk by 18 percent.

When the researchers did a follow-up with the participants, they identified 2,193 cancer cases and the average age of diagnosis was at 59 years old.

The researchers defined it as a drink with more than 5% sugar.

Experts reported that people consuming just under 200ml on average of a sugar-sweetened drink or fruit juice each day had an 18% increased risk of all types of cancer.

So, if they all drank an extra 100ml a day, it would result in four more cancers - taking the total to 26 per 1,000 per five years, according to the researchers.

Those people who drank the most sugary drinks, at 185.8ml per day on average, who then consumed an extra 100ml per day, had a 30% increased risk of all cancers.

A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society (ACS) said the findings should give consumers pause, because obesity is a known risk factor for cancer.

People who drink a lot of sugary drinks have a higher risk of developing cancer, although the evidence can not establish a direct causal link, researchers said on Thursday.

But is it obesity or specifically the sugary drinks that cause cancer?

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"I find the biological plausibility of this hard, given there was no significant difference between groups in relation to body weight or incidence of diabetes, which is often cited as an associated risk", Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian, said.

Experts now believe people in the United Kingdom have a roughly 50/50 chance of developing some form of cancer during their life.

The study uncovered links between the consumption of sugary drinks and the risk of cancer in general, and for breast cancer specifically.

The study's authors, however, suggested that taxing sugary products could have an effect on lowering cancer rates. The study is observational, meaning it's only pointing out the association, not explaining it or establishing causation, per the BBC.

But Touvier noted that when you compare the amount of sugar in a serving of fruit juice to soda, the drinks are remarkably alike, so it shouldn't be a shock that juices might hurt our long-term health.

Her team's findings support "existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drinks consumption, including 100% fruit juices, as well as policy actions such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks", Touvier said.

"More research is needed to understand if there is a direct link between sugary drinks and cancer", she added.

Honestly, as alarming as this study is when you break down the cancer risk into numbers, many of us already know how harmful making sugar a prominent fixture of your diet is.

"The soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in helping to tackle obesity which is why we have led the way in calorie and sugar reduction".

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