Study finds possible link between sugary drinks and cancer

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The team defined sugary drinks as beverages containing more than 5% of simple carbohydrates, which include soft drinks, syrups, milkshakes and energy drinks, among others, as well as 100% fruit juice.

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.

"While this study doesn't offer a definitive causative answer about sugar and cancer, it does add to the overall picture of the importance of the current drive to reduce our sugar intake", said Dr Amelia Lake, from Teesside University.

A recently published study has bad news for consumers who regularly drink these sweetened beverages.

On average, men consumed more sugary drinks than women - 90.3 ml daily compared to 74.6 ml.

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.

"However, this assumes that there is a genuine causal link between sugary drink intake and developing cancer, and this still needs further research".

The research looked at more than 100,000 French adults.

The connection between sugary drinks and cancer remained the same even after the team adjusted for age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking and physical activity, the researchers said. The study didn't seek to understand the reason for the link, though the researchers speculated that sugar's effect on visceral fat, blood-sugar levels and inflammation may play a role.

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Touvier said her team observed that sugar seemed to be the main driver of the link. Participants were followed up with for up nine years.

The authors warned that this finding should be interpreted with caution, as this type of beverage had a relatively low consumption among the study participants.

No - the way the study was designed means it can spot patterns in the data but cannot explain them.

Susannah Brown, acting head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund, said the charity's own research had shown a link between obesity and cancer.

But, alternatively, people who drink the most sugary drinks could have other unhealthy behaviours (eating more salt and calories than then rest, for example) that raise their cancer risk and the sugary drinks themselves could be irrelevant.

"These data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks", their report says.

But this study is one of the first that aims to untangle the risky effects of sugar on the body from the consequences of weight gain, metabolic problems, and heart issues that are often a side effect of drinking sweet beverages.

We've heard that drinking sweet drinks could lead to diabetes and even obesity as well as a plethora of health problems.

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