You can now add a potential cancer risk as another reason to pay close attention to the added sugar line on the Nutrition Facts panel. Taking into account sugar types and sources, investigators from the University of Paris, France, discovered that as total sugar intake increases so do the chances of developing various forms of cancer, including breast and prostate.
Consumption patterns were assessed using several 24-hour dietary records from 101,279 adults. As reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the majority of the risk stemmed from the intake of sugars added to foods and drinks, which now makes up the majority of simple sugar intake in the typical diet. Interestingly, the cancer link remained significant even when weight gain was adjusted for. This suggests that high intakes of sugars may play a role in cancer etiology via some mechanisms not related to body composition, such as driving up inflammation or promoting insulin resistance.
A separate study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found regularly drinking sugar-sweetened soda may increase the risk of death for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Drinking sugary beverages five times per week or more increased the risk of total and breast cancer-related mortality, when compared with rarely or never drinking them.
See also: More Sugar Danger
Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.