Do Sugary Drinks Increase Cancer Risk?

Sugary drinks have been linked to obesity and heart disease. Now, a recent study looks at how sugary drinks may influence cancer risk.

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CLEVELAND – Sugary drinks have been linked to obesity and heart disease.

Now, a recent study looks at how sugary drinks may influence cancer risk.

In this observational study, researchers reviewed dietary surveys from 101,257 people to see if there was a correlation between particular drinks and cancer risk.

Researchers found drinking more sugary drinks, including 100 percent fruit juice, was associated with an increased risk of cancer.

However, results did not show a link between cancer and artificially sweetened drinks.

Cleveland Clinic’s Dale Shepard, M.D., Ph.D.,did not take part in the study, but said it’s important to put the results into perspective.

Over the nine year course of this study, only two percent of the study participants developed cancer,” he said. “So while we hear there was an 18 or 20 percent increased risk, that’s in the two percent of people who actually got cancer.” 

Dr. Shepard said a number of factors come into play, including a person’s diet, when determining cancer risk.

He recommends living a healthy lifestyle, which includes reducing sugar, to reduce cancer risk.

“We know that increase in exercise, decreasing obesity, not smoking, eating a heart healthy diet – those are all really good things to minimize risk for cancer,” he said.  

Complete results can be found in The British Medical Journal.

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