The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Small Daily Servings of Juice or Other Sugary Drinks Linked With Higher Cancer Risk
A new study has found that consuming even just a small serving of soda or 100 percent fruit juice per day can significantly increase your risk of developing cancer.
Drinking as little as 100 ml (3.4 ounces) of a sugary beverage per day was associated with an 18 percent increased general risk of cancer and a 22 percent increased risk of breast cancer, according to the study, which was published this week in the British Medical Journal. Soda cans usually contain between 12 and 16 ounces.
For the study, the researchers examined nine years of nutritional data from more than 100,000 French adults who participated in the ongoing Nutrinet-Santé survey from 2009-2017. The average age of participants was 42 years old and 79 percent were women while 21 percent were men.
The survey required them to fill out questionnaires recalling their consumption over 24 hours of thousands of foods and drinks, of which nearly 100 were sugary drinks such as 100% fruit juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and certain hot beverages, USA Today reported.
During the nine-year survey period, there were 2,193 instances of new cancer diagnoses, including nearly 700 cases of breast cancer. Among the highest quarter for consumption of sugary drinks there was a 30 percent higher risk for cancer than the lowest quarter of participants, and a 37 percent higher risk for breast cancer in particular, The New York Times reported.
The risk persisted even as the researchers accounted for other factors that might impact cancer risk, including demographic information, physical activity, smoking history and family prevalence of cancer.
Lead author Mathilde Touvier said the results do not yet prove that sugary drinks cause cancer, as the study was only observational, but the team noted that increased sugar consumption appeared to be a primary driver of increased cancer risk, potentially because it can lead to visceral fat deposits that have been previously associated with the formation of tumors.
"High sugary drinks consumption is a risk factor for obesity and weight gain," Touvier, research director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team at the Paris 13 University's National Health and Research Institute, told CNN. "Obesity is in itself a risk factor for cancer."
Interestingly, the researchers did not find a link between cancer risk and artificially sweetened "diet" drinks. They also suggested that other chemical additives, including 4-methylimidazole — usually found in drinks with a caramel coloring, according to CNN — could be an alternative factor driving cancer risk.
As such, the researchers said more large-scale prospective studies should be done to see if their results are replicated, but so far, "these data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption" to around one glass per day.
They also said that the results add weight to "policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks, which might potentially contribute to the reduction of cancer incidence."
The findings come just months after a Harvard study found that drinking sugary beverages each day could increase your risk of an early death.
Sugary Drinks May Boost Risk of Premature Death. ( No Duh) https://t.co/lRein0OiVj— Zen Honeycutt (@zenhoneycutt) March 23, 2019
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?