Sugary drinks are easy to find, affordable to buy and enjoyable to taste — but they could also be dangerous to our health.
Nearly 16 percent of adults in a recent study reported high-sugar intake from sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, teas, fruit juices and energy drinks. The study specifically explored the link between such drinks and cancer risk, finding that people who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer were much more likely to have had a history of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages than other cancer survivors. People with no cancer history actually reported a higher sugar intake than cancer survivors, though researchers noted that age and gender could also influence that statistic. Demographic data was also evaluated, with researchers finding higher sugar-intake levels among young people, men, black people, those who are obese, smokers, low-income individuals and people lacking a college education.
So how does this information offer help for cancer patients?
First, researchers suggested the data provides a never-before-seen picture of just how severe the country’s dependence on sugar-sweetened beverages is. Understanding the problem is an important step in addressing it.
The public has increasingly grown aware in recent years about the connection between sugary drinks and diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity. This new research illustrates the need for enhanced education programs for specific populations, especially cervical-cancer survivors. Intervention programs aimed directly at women facing and those who have conquered cervical cancer is another important help for cancer patients looking to stay on the track to health.
The information can also be used to target populations like lower socio-economic males, who report high levels of sugar intake. Public-health efforts to educate such communities about the dangers of sugar-sweetened beverages can help reduce their risk for cancer and other diseases.
Healthy living is a tough goal to achieve but small changes like reducing the consumption of sugary drinks can have big consequences for our health and provide help for cancer patients.