Consumption of ‘sugary drinks’ is associated with the risk of cancer, according to a French study that has followed more than 100,000 people for five years.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, defines sugary drinks as sugar sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices, finding a positive association between beverage consumption and the risk of overall, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
Overall, 101 257 participants aged 18 and over from French web-based cohort NutriNet-Santé were included in the survey. The NutriNet-Santé cohort was launched in 2009, aiming to study the associations between nutrition and health as well as the determinants of dietary behaviours and nutritional status.
The conclusion suggests that “sugary drinks, which are widely consumed in Western countries, might represent a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention.”
Significantly, however, the study also found that consumption of artificially sweetened beverages was not associated with the risk of cancer. Gavin Partington, director-general The British Soft Drinks Association, said: “This study reports a possible association between higher consumption of sugary drinks and an increased risk of cancer, but does not provide evidence of cause, as the authors readily admit.
“Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet. The soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in helping to tackle obesity which is why we have led the way in calorie and sugar reduction.”
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