Drinking fruit juice and other sugary beverages is closely linked with cancer, according to a new study of 100,000 people
There’s fresh evidence that drinking sugar — whether in 100% fruit juice, soda, or sweetened coffee and tea — may increase your risk of developing cancer.
A new study of more than 100,000 healthy adults suggests that regardless of who you are and how healthy your lifestyle may be, if you drink sugar (be it natural or artificial) you are more likely to develop cancer than someone who opts for unsweetened beverages.
“The results regarding fruit juices may be surprising because fruit juices have a healthy image,” lead study author
Mathilde Touvier told Business Insider.
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.
“They contain some vitamins, a little bit of dietary fibers, and no food additives,” Touvier said. “But they also contain lots of sugar.”
The results of her study, which was published in the BMJ today, suggest that regardless of other factors like how old a person is, what their family history may be, how active they are, how much schooling they’ve had, or even whether they’re on birth control, people who drink more sugar tend to get more cancer.
The finding does not prove that sugary drinks cause cancer, but the association is “significant,” the study authors said.
Following sugar drinkers around for years
This isn’t the first time that sugary drinks have been linked with bad health outcomes. Previous research has also suggested that drinking more juice increases a person’s risk of death and ups the odds that they may develop heart problems, Type- 2 diabetes, or die from cancer.
But this study is one of the first that aims to untangle the dangerous effects of sugar on the body from the consequences of weight gain, metabolic problems, and heart issues that are often a side effect of drinking sweet beverages.
The new study relied on data from 101,257 French adults who participated in the NutriNet-Santé study between 2009 and 2017. The giant study tried to control for all kinds of health factors: The authors accounted for people’s weights and heights, exercise and eating patterns, education, family cancer history, and other potentially confounding factors.