Less than 1 can of soda a day increases your risk of cancer new study says

You may want to read this before sipping that sugary drink just yet.

Fred Bodimer
July 16, 2019 - 1:33 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A new study finds even a small amount of sugary drink consumption increases your cancer risk.  

Just a third of a can of soda a day elevates your risk of cancer by 18%, according to this study in the British Medical Journal.

"The whole correlation is that if you are taking in more sugar than lean protein or vegetables, then you're going to end up being obese," said SLU Care's Dr. Theresa Schwartz, a breast cancer surgeon at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. "So it's less to do with the sugar content as far as we know and more about your overall nutrition."

And it's not just soda that's to blame, but all sugary beverages — including fruit juices, sports and energy drinks.

"Trying to look at the sugary drinks tends to be a good start to give you a screen shot into someone's overall diet and nutrition," Dr. Schwartz told KMOX.

This soda study follows another British study that suggests more cancer cases of the bowel, kidney, ovaries and liver are caused by obesity than smoking.

"We have been looking at the correlation between obesity and cancer risk for about a decade, at least in the surgical and oncological literature," said Dr. Schwartz.  "But this is the first time I've seen any data that talks about how being obese can be a larger risk factor for cancer development than smoking.  Everyone knows the risk associated with smoking and the higher risk of cancer and other health problems, but this is the first time we have seen anything that says being overweight can actually be more dangerous from a cancer standpoint."

And Schwartz doesn't want anyone hearing this study to think it means it is better to smoke than be overweight.

"There's really no safe amount of smoking so even though the study is saying that smoking appears to be less likely to cause a few cancers than being obese, there's no time that anyone would say tobacco use of any kind would be considered safe."

The take home message here?

"I think the basic advice to give to all patients is that maintaining a healthy body weight is paramount to your overall health as well as decreasing your cancer risk," said Dr. Schwartz. "This is just another study that lets us know that keeping a normal body weight — where you have a higher ratio of muscle compared to fat — is really what is going to make your health better and decrease your cancer risk."

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