Bubble tea lovers who like high sugar levels might want to rethink their orders as a new study has found that the consumption of sugary drinks is linked to a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer.
The study, which appeared in the BMJ medical journal on Thursday, involved a survey of over 100,000 adults by a team of researchers in France. The researchers conducted the survey to evaluate the association between the consumption of sugary drinks and the risks of overall cancer, as well as specific types.
The participants consisted of 79% women and on average were 42 years old. After being observed for a maximum of nine years, they completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires. This calculated their daily consumption of sugar and artificially sweetened beverages as well as 100% fruit juices.
The subjects’ daily intakes of sugary drinks were then measured against those of diet beverages, which the researchers compared to cancer cases in their medical records during the follow-up period.
Researchers found that just a 100 ml increase of sugary drinks each day was associated with an 18% increased risk of cancer, and with a 22% increase in breast cancer. It was also found that both sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices saw a similar higher risk association.
Findings after a follow-up revealed that 2,193 cases of cancer were diagnosed, with the average age of diagnosis at 59 years old.
According to the authors of the study, their work was based on observation and, therefore, could not establish the cause of cancer prognoses. Based on their findings, the authors suggested that taxing sugary products could significantly make an impact on cancer rates.
Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach at The Nutrition Clinic, Bonnie Rogers had earlier pointed out how most attention is given to soft drinks while made-to-order drinks, such as boba tea, often get excluded from the conversation when talking about sugary drinks.
“There is a lot of attention given to soft drinks, but it is the unlabelled products that slip under the radar,” Rogers was quoted as saying. “If we look at the addictive nature of sugar it is not surprising that these drinks are popular and a lot of parents see this as a healthy option compared to soft drinks.”