Sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly soft drinks, significantly increase risk of endometrial cancer – a cancer related to obesity. This is true even if the women weren’t overweight or obese.
A recent study evaluated the data from over 23,000 women who participated in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. The women in this study were an average age of 62 when the study began. And the researchers tracked their dietary habits and a number of their health conditions.
In particular, they found that 592 of the women had invasive endometrial cancers. After the researchers adjusted for body mass index information, they uncovered another startling correlation. The women who made one particular dietary choice had a 78% higher risk of developing type-I endometrial cancer.
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So what was this one choice? They drank sugar-sweetened beverages. Fruit juice and sugar-free beverages didn’t seem to have an effect, but drinking sugary concoctions like sodas skyrocketed risk. This was true even if the women weren’t overweight or obese.
One of the reasons these beverages are so detrimental is they deliver sugar directly to the body without any of the fiber or macronutrients that come with consuming whole foods. And saying no to these beverages is an easy way to significantly cut back on your sugar consumption without having to make major changes to your eating habits.
If you are obese and/or have polycystic ovarian syndrome, you’re already at an increased risk of developing type-I endometrial cancer. However, avoiding sugary drinks is a good strategy for all of us who are seeking to protect our health and reduce how much sugar we consume.
Inoue-Choi M, Robien K, Mariana A, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and the risk of type I and type II endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013;22(12): 2384-2394.