Having too many sugary drinks linked to higher cancer risk


"Surprisingly perhaps, the increased risk of cancer in heavier consumers of sugary drinks was observed even among consumers of pure fruit juice - this warrants more research", Johnson told the Science Media Centre in the UK.

Just a small glass of juice or soda a day can increase your overall risk for cancer by almost 20 percent.

During a follow-up, researchers found 2,193 cases of cancer were diagnosed, the average age at diagnosis being 59 years.

"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.

The study, published Wednesday in the BMJ medical journal, examined more than 100,000 adults with an average age of 42 over a period of nine years.

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

The scientists included all manner of sugary drinks in their analyses: carbonated and un-carbonated soft drinks, syrups, 100% fruit juices, fruity drinks, sugar-sweetened hot beverages, milk-based sweetened beverages, sports drinks, and energy drinks. This spike in cancer risk was associated with consuming very small quantities of sweetened beverages daily: 100ml (3.3oz), or around one-third of the average can of soda.

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.

Among women with the highest intake, the risk of breast cancer increased by 37%.

The lead author of the study says the findings add to research showing that reducing how many sweetened beverages someone drinks would be beneficial to their health.

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

For every 1,000 people in the study, there were 22 cancers.

There's more bad news for fans of sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice.

The study's authors, however, suggested that taxing sugary products could have an effect on lowering cancer rates.

Speaking on behalf of the British Fruit Juice Association, registered dietitian Helen Bond said: "The findings of this observational study completely contradict previous clinical trials on 100% fruit juice which makes me suspect that participants were not correctly reporting their consumption of 100% fruit juice".

A team of researchers in France wanted to assess the associations between heightened consumption of sugar drinks and the risks of overall cancer, as well as several cancer types, including breast, prostate and bowel cancers.

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.

In a statement, the American Beverage Association said: "It's important for people to know that all beverages - either with sugar or without - are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet".