from the world's big
Fruit juice may raise cancer risk, study finds. Here's why.
A new study found a positive association between sugary drinks and cancer.
- The study monitored the health of more than 100,000 adults over a five-year period.
- During this time, some 2,200 people developed cancer, the majority of whom regularly consumed sugary drinks.
- Still, the researchers said the results don't prove that sugar causes cancer.
A new study found that drinking sugary beverages such as soda and fruit juice may increase your risk of developing cancer. The study, published in the BMJ on July 10, found that consuming sugary drinks was "significantly associated with the risk of overall cancer and breast cancer." Sugary drinks were defined as those containing more than 5 percent sugar, including soda and 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugar.
For the study, the researchers tracked the health, lifestyle and eating habits of 101,257 adults over a five-year period. During this time, cancer developed in about 2,200 people, the majority of whom regularly consumed sugary drinks.
The findings are some of the first to show a positive association between drinking sugary drinks and cancer. What's more, this positive association was observed for both soda and 100 percent fruit juices.
Still, the results don't necessarily prove that sugar causes cancer.
"These results need replication in other large scale prospective studies," the researchers wrote. "They suggest that sugary drinks, which are widely consumed in Western countries, might represent a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention."
It's probably safe to drink soda or fruit juice on occasion, lead researcher Dr. Mathilde Touvier told The Guardian:
"The recommendation from several public health agencies is to consume less than one drink per day. If you consume from time to time a sugary drink it won't be a problem, but if you drink at least one glass a day it can raise the risk of several diseases — here, maybe cancer, but also with a high level of evidence, cardiometabolic diseases."
The researchers said the results could help inform future policy decisions. A handful of U.S. cities have levied taxes on the soda industry, including Boulder, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington, as well as Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco in California. Generally, distributors and wholesalers pay the tax when they deliver soda to retailers, though it's expected that consumers also end up paying more in the form of higher retail prices.
These taxes seem to decrease soda consumption. A recent study showed that soda purchases in Philadelphia dropped by 1 billion ounces in 2017, which was the first year of the soda tax.
Does sugar cause cancer?
Although consuming large amounts of sugar has been linked to some forms of cancer, like esophageal cancer, there's no strong evidence showing that it causes the disease, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. But there is an indirect link: Eating high-sugar foods often leads to obesity, which, in turn, raises the risk of developing cancer.
To consume less sugar, the institute recommends several strategies:
- switch sodas for flavored sparkling water without added sugar
- opt for unsweetened tea
- add colorful fruit like berries, melon and citrus to your water
- sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa on your coffee beverages and skip the sugar
- carry healthy snacks like nuts, fresh or dried fruit or whole grain crackers and cheese instead of sugary snacks.
Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
A scientist in Sweden makes a controversial presentation at a future of food conference.
- A behavioral scientist from Sweden thinks cannibalism of corpses will become necessary due to effects of climate change.
- He made the controversial presentation to Swedish TV during a "Future of Food" conference in Stockholm.
- The scientist acknowledges the many taboos this idea would have to overcome.
Depiction of cannibalism in the Medieval ages.
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President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.
- In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
- Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
- It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
Talkspace.com<p>Former employees also questioned the legitimacy of certain interventions by the company into client-therapist interactions. For example, after one therapist sent a client a link to an online anxiety worksheet, a company representative instructed her to try to keep clients inside the app.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I was like, 'How do you know I did that?'" Karissa Brennan, a therapist who worked with Talkspace from 2015 to 2017, told the Times. "They said it was private, but it wasn't."</p><p>Other former employees said the company would pay special attention to its "enterprise partner" clients, who worked at companies like Google. One therapist said Talkspace contacted her for taking too long to respond to Google clients.</p><p>Talkspace responded to the Times with a Medium <a href="https://medium.com/@founders_22883/talkspace-founders-respond-to-a-new-york-times-article-78d6f5c45c59" target="_blank">post</a>, which claimed the Times report contained false and "uninformed assertions."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Talkspace is a HIPAA/HITECH and SOC2 approved platform, audited annually by external vendors, and has deployed additional technologies to keep its data safe, exceeding all existing regulatory requirements," the post states.</p>