A July 2019 NutriNet-Santé cohort study looked at sugary drinks (sugar sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices), artificially sweetened (diet) beverages, and the risk of overall cancer, as well as breast, prostate, and bowel (colorectal) cancers. Well-known risk factors for cancer were factored in. These included age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking status and physical activity levels. The study found that, “a 100ml daily increase in the consumption of sugary drinks was associated with an 18% increased risk of overall cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.” But “No association was found for prostate and colorectal cancers, but numbers of cases were more limited for these cancer locations.” The researchers noted that, “the consumption of artificially sweetened (diet) beverages was not associated with a risk of cancer, but the authors warn that caution is needed in interpreting this finding owing to a relatively low consumption level in this sample.”
The researchers concluded that the study supports, “the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks, which might potentially contribute to the reduction of cancer incidence."