New research has found that even a small increase in the amount of sugary drinks someone consume may increase risk for cancer.
Drinking about 3.4 ounces per day of sugary drinks was associated with a 22% increased risk of breast cancer and an 18% increased risk of cancer overall. A typical soda can contains 12 ounces. Sugary drinks in the study include 100% fruit juices, soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, and hot beverages with more than 5% sugar. The relationship was "strongly driven by the sugar content," although other chemical additives may play a role. "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," Ian Johnson, nutrition researcher, told the Science Media Center in the UK.
Researchers analyzed data collected between 2009 and 2017 from a nutrition survey in France, called NutriNet-Santé, involving 101,257 healthy adults. During the study, nearly 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, including 693 cases of breast cancer. Beverage industry groups say sugary drinks are still safe to drink. "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," Danielle Smotkin, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association said in a statement.