A recent study conducted in France and published in the medical journal BMJ has found that consuming sugary drinks every day is associated with an increased risk of cancer.  This includes not only drinks with added sugar like colas, lemonade and energy drinks, but also 100% fruit juice.  When it comes to sugar content, a coke and a glass of orange juice are very similar.  If you drink just a small glass of juice or soda a day – 100 ml or about 3.4 oz – you have an 18% overall increased risk of cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.

Mathilde Touvier, the lead author of the study, said that “what we observed was that the main driver of the association seems to be really the sugar contained in these sugar drinks” and that “high sugar drinks consumption is a risk factor for obesity and weight gain,” and “obesity is in itself a risk factor for cancer”.

The study points out that at this point it’s only observational and does not show cause and effect, with more work remaining to be done.  What it does point to, however, is the importance of reducing the amount of sugar in your diet.  It’s clear that sugar consumption has an adverse effect on visceral fat, which is the fat stored near vital organs like the liver and stomach, as well as blood sugar levels and inflammation, all of which are linked to increased cancer risk.

Besides increasing the risk of cancer, excess sugar consumption has been shown to be linked to diabetes, heart disease, suppressed immunity and decreased gut health.  Reducing how much sugar you consume can improve your health in more ways than one.

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