There’s a higher risk of colorectal and kidney cancers, even after adjusting for BMI, says researchers

In the study, researchers examined the association of SSBs and artificially-sweetened beverages (ASBs) with mortality from all types of cancer among men and women in the Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II) prospective cohort.

In 1982, the cohort of 934,777 cancer-free participants provided information on SSB and ASB consumption. Deaths were identified through 2016. Researchers found that during the study follow-up, 135,093 CPS-II participants died from cancer.

Researchers found that consumption of SSB drinks (2+ servings per day) was not associated with all-cancer mortality, but was associated with increased risk of obesity-related cancers, which became null after adjusting for BMI.

However, SSBs were associated with increased mortality from colorectal and kidney cancers, even after adjusting for BMI.

“These results should inform public policy regarding sweetened beverage consumption to decrease the risk of cancer for men and women in the US,”​ said Dr. Marjorie McCullough, senior scientific director, epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study.

The issue of added sugar intake

The 2020-2025 FDA Dietary Guidelines​ ​recommend limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% of total calories per day (200 calories or 50g for those following a 2,000-calorie diet). However, most Americans exceed this recommended amount, with SSBs accounting for a significant portion (24%) of Americans’ added sugar intake, according to the FDA.

The study reaffirms what’s been well researched: high consumption of sugary beverages lead to several negative health outcomes, noted McCullough.

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