Sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of death from obesity-related cancer

In a large study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS), men and women who drank two or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) per day, compared to people who never drank, had a 5% increased risk. Death from obesity-related cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and kidney cancer. These results appeared to be related to the higher body mass index (BMI) of participants who drank SSBs regularly. BMI is a measure of body size, which combines a person’s weight and height, and shows whether a person is at a healthy weight. The study was published today in Cancer, epidemiology, biomarkers and preventionwhich is the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Unfortunately, Americans exceed the recommended limits for sugar consumption according to the US Dietary Guidelines, and sugar-sweetened beverages are known risk factors for overweight, overweight, and obesity. Our findings also support the recommendation to limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages listed in the ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention to help reduce disease risk.”

Dr. Marjorie McCullough, Senior Scientific Director of Research Epidemiology at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study

For the study, researchers examined the associations of SSBs and artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) with deaths from all types of cancer combined, obesity-related cancers combined, and 20 types of cancer, among men and women in the Cancer Prevention Study-2 (CPS-II). prospective group. In 1982, more than nine hundred thousand non-cancer participants provided information on habitual SSB and ASB consumption. Mortality was identified during 2016. Cox’s multivariate proportional hazards regression models examined associations of beverage types with cancer mortality, without adjustment for BMI and with adjustment for BMI.

During the study’s follow-up, 135,093 CPS-II participants died of cancer. The results showed that men and women consuming more than two SSB drinks per day versus subjects who never drank were not associated with mortality rates from all cancers, but were associated with an increased risk of obesity-related cancer combined, which became null after BMI adjustment. . SSBs were associated with increased mortality from colorectal cancer, and kidney cancer, which remained after adjusting for BMI. The positive association of ASB consumption with obesity-related cancers was null after controlling for BMI; However, the increased risk of pancreatic cancer persisted even with BMI adjustment. The researchers add, associations between ASB consumption and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer merit further study.

McCullough adds, “Future research should consider the role of BMI in studies of sweetened beverages and cancer risk.” “These findings should guide public policy regarding consumption of sweetened beverages to reduce the risk of cancer in men and women in the United States.”

McCullough also adds that while most artificial sweeteners are generally believed to be safe, artificial sweetener use in the United States is increasing and whether these exposures are associated with cancer risk in humans remains a matter of interest.

Dr. Alba Patel is lead author of the study.