Drinking sugary beverages may increase risk of deadly cancers

Credit: Katherine Sousa/Unsplash.

New research has found that drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of death from cancer.

The study, conducted by the American Cancer Society, examined data from a cancer prevention study and searched for associations between sugary drinks and all cancers, obesity-related cancers, and 20 specific cancer types.

The participants were followed from 1982, when over 934,000 cancer-free people provided information on beverage consumption, until 2016.

The results suggest that drinking more than two sugar-sweetened beverages daily may increase the risk of obesity-related cancers, such as colon and kidney cancer, even after adjusting for body mass index (BMI).

However, drinking more than two SSBs per day was not associated with all-cancer deaths when compared to those who drank none of these beverages.

Artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) were also examined in the study, and participants who consumed these beverages had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, even after BMI adjustment.

The findings suggest that the increased risk of death from certain cancers due to SSB consumption may be related to the higher BMI of the participants who regularly drank these beverages.

The American Beverage Association, which represents the soft drink industry, did not respond to the study.

The study’s lead author, Marjorie McCullough, noted that Americans exceed recommended limits on sugar consumption and that sugar-sweetened beverages are known risk factors for weight gain, being overweight, and obesity.

The study results suggest that sweetened beverage consumption should be decreased to decrease the risk of cancer for men and women in the United States.

Future research should consider the role of BMI in studies of sweetened beverages and cancer risk. These findings should inform public policy regarding sweetened beverage consumption.

How to reduce your cancer risks

There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cancer:

Quit smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer deaths worldwide. Quitting smoking can greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and kidney cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can reduce your risk.

Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce your cancer risk. Avoid processed and red meats, which have been linked to a higher risk of colon and other types of cancer.

Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of several types of cancer, including breast, liver, and colon cancer. Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Protect your skin: Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but it can be prevented by protecting your skin from the sun. Wear protective clothing, use sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds.

Get screened: Regular cancer screenings can help detect cancer early when it is most treatable. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are recommended for you based on your age, gender, and family history.

These steps can help reduce your risk of developing cancer and promote overall health and well-being.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about the causes of cancer, and vitamin D supplements could strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects the risks of heart disease and cancer, and results showing low-fat diet could be essential to stopping cancer growth.

The study was conducted by Marjorie L. McCullough et al and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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