A small glass of juice or soda a day may increase cancer risk

Coca-Cola brand Coke caffeine-free soda cans sit on display in an arranged photograph taken in Princeton, Illinois, US. (Bloomberg pic)

LONDON: New research has discovered that drinking even a small amount of juice or soda per day may increase your risk for cancer, reported Xinhua news agency.

The study, which was published in medical journal BMJ recently, investigated the association between the consumption of sugary beverages and an increased risk in cancer by collecting data on more than 100,000 French adults with an average age of 42.

A small glass of a sugary drink per day – 100ml, about a third of a typical can of soda – is linked to an 18% increase in overall cancer risk and a 22% increase in risk for breast cancer.

According to the study, 100% fruit juices were also positively associated with the risk of overall cancer.

Mathilde Touvier, lead author of the study, and her team said that the main driver for the link between these drinks and increased cancer risk was the sugar.

“High sugary drinks consumption is a risk factor for obesity and weight gain,” Touvier told CNN, adding that “obesity is a risk factor for cancer.”

Another possibility is that additives, such as 4-methylimidazole, which is found in drinks that contain caramel colouring, could play a role in cancer formation.

The study supported existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks, which might potentially contribute to the reduction of cancer incidence.