Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Increase Risk of Cancer Death

Consuming sugary beverages like soda, flavored coffees and energy drinks could increase your risk of cancer death.

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are any liquids that are sweetened with types of added sugars like corn syrup, brown sugar, fructose, molasses, honey, raw sugar and malt syrup. Beverages sweetened with sugar are among the leading sources of added sugars in the United States.

People who regularly consume sugary drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese. Drinking SSBs on a regular basis is also associated with:

  • Heart disease
  • Type II diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Non-alcoholic liver disease
  • Gout

New Study Finds Link Between SSBs and Cancer Risk

Researchers looked at data from 1982, where 934,000 cancer-free participants provided information about beverages they consumed over the next 34 years. By 2016, about 135,000 participants had died from cancer.

People who drank SSBs were associated with an increased risk of obesity-related cancers and an increased risk for kidney and colon cancer. Artificially sweetened beverages also increased patients’ cancer risk. Participants who drank beverages with artificial sweeteners were more likely to develop pancreatic cancers.

“Unfortunately, Americans exceed recommended limits on sugar consumption by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and sugar-sweetened beverages are known risk factors for weight gain, being overweight and obesity,” said Marjorie McCullough, lead study author. McCullough is senior scientific director of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society.

SSBs Are Linked to Other Unhealthy Habits

Drinking SSBs is associated with other unhealthy behaviors. Frequent consumers of sugary drinks are more likely to …

  • eat more fast food,
  • get inadequate sleep,
  • be more sedentary and
  • have more screen time with phones, computers and video games.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but healthy habits can reduce your risk  of developing the disease. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can reduce inflammation and prevent toxins from accumulating in the colon.

Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat foods, eat a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking.

Schedule Your Colonoscopy at 45

Although there are many colon cancer screening methods, colonoscopy  is the most effective because it allows your gastroenterologist to examine the entire colon and remove precancerous growths called polyps.

Most cases of colon cancer are preventable with routine screenings. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, adults at average risk for colon cancer should begin screening at age 45. However, it’s vital to know colon cancer affects people of all ages. You should begin screening earlier if you have a family or personal history of colon cancer or colon polyps.