A new study is providing further evidence about the potentially life-threatening danger of drinking soda on a daily basis. Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Cancer Council Victoria found that people who regularly drink soda have a higher risk of cancer than those who do not.
How did they arrive at this conclusion? The research team studied over 35,000 Australians who had been diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer. (Obesity-related cancers include kidney, pancreatic, gallbladder, and more.) They found that regular soda consumption was a contributing factor for many participants. The team also found that soda consumption can increase the cancer risk of people who are not overweight.
"We were surprised to find this increased cancer risk was not driven completely by obesity," said associate professor Allison Hodge, who coauthored the study. "Even people who were not overweight had an increased cancer risk if they regularly drank sugary soft drinks."
Alternatively, diet soda doesn't seem to present the same cancer risk because it's not as high in sugar. Though diet soda can still lead to health problems or obesity, it does not seem to have the same effect as sugary soda. As Hodge noted, all this suggests that the high sugar in soda is really the key factor.
"Cancer is just one of many chronic health conditions associated with sugary drink consumption," Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said. "We need more people to understand the connection and make the switch to water." If you need help making the switch, read this guide to giving up soda for good from a registered dietitian.