Sugary drink consumption increases cancer risk, research suggests

11 July, 2019, 15:54 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Consumption of sugary drinks has risen worldwide in the last few decades file

The results showed that a 100 millilitre (ml) a day increase in consumption of sugary drinks was linked to an 18% increased risk of overall cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.

Sugar-based drinks are being drunk more than ever across the globe and their consumption is linked to obesity, which itself increases the chances of getting cancer.

"What we observed was that the main driver of the association seems to be really the sugar contained in these sugary drinks", said Touvier, who is the research director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team of the National Health and Medical Research Institute at the Paris 13 University.

Authors of the study, which appeared in the BMJ medical journal, stressed their work was based on observation and so could not establish the cause of cancer prognoses.

Some 21% of the group were men and 79% were women.

The participants were engaged in the study for up to nine years and they were required to answer two 24-hour certified dietary questionnaires online.

The researchers tracked 97 beverages and 12 artificially sweetened ones, including carbonated ones, sports drinks, syrups and pure fruit juices.

For every extra 100ml per day consumed on top of this, a person's cancer risk increased by 18pc for all cancers and, among women, by 22pc for breast cancer.

"This large, well-designed study adds to the existing evidence that consumption of sugary drinks may be associated with increased risk of some cancers", Graham Wheeler, senior statistician of the Cancer Research UK said of the study.

Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian, said the "take home message is the absence of cancer risk in using diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners".

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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.

The study, carried out in France, is the first substantial piece of research to find a specific association between sugar and cancer.

They pointed to other research which suggested that sugary drinks promoted body fat around the abdomen, even if a person was a healthy weight, which in turn promoted the growth of tumours.

The research spanned a five-year period, starting when the participants were aged 42 on average.

The study found no link sugary drinks and prostate and colorectal cancers.

Sugary drinks have increased in popularity all around the world and these drinks have already been linked to obesity.

He said: "Participants were followed on average for about five years, and 22 participants per 1,000 developed some form of cancer".

"For now, we recommend not drinking sugary drinks to reduce your risk of weight gain and therefore cancer".

Gavin Partington, director-general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said the study "does not provide evidence of cause, as the authors readily admit".

The research found no link between diet beverages and cancer.

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