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French study links sugary drinks to cancer

French study links sugary drinks to cancer
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Consuming sugary drinks, including 100% fruit juice, may increase the risk of cancer, a French study has found.

Scientists from the Université Sorbonne Paris Cité monitored the food and drink consumption of more than 101,000 adults between 2009 and 2017.

They say although the impact of sugary drinks on obesity and type 2 diabetes is widely studied, the direct association with cancer risk is not as well researched.

They concluded in their study published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal that "the consumption of sugary drinks was significantly associated with the risk of overall cancer".

The team defined sugary drinks as beverages containing more than 5% of simple carbohydrates, which include soft drinks, syrups, milkshakes and energy drinks, among others, as well as 100% fruit juice.

They found that an additional 100 ml of sugary drinks a day increases the risk of cancer by 18% but that artificially-sweetened drinks were not associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Of the 2,193 cancers contracted during the study, 693 were breast cancers, 291 were prostate cancers and 166 were colorectal cancers. The average age at cancer diagnosis was 58.5.

But the scientists tempered their findings by highlighting the study was "observational" and that although the results had also taken into account sociodemographic factors — age, gender, education — as well as lifestyle choices such as whether the participants smoked or exercised, further research is needed to properly establish a causal link.