The link between fizzy drinks and breast cancer

A report published today in The Times has claimed that girls who consume fizzy drinks are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in later life.

The study suggests that the high sugar content of the drinks is a key factor in the early onset of the menstrual period in young females – something which is thought could play a part in an increased risk of breast cancer.

Dr Michelle Harvie, research dietitian at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, said: “This study supports what we already know about high calorie diets, weight gain and breast cancer.

“The research does show a link between sugary drinks and the early onset of periods, which alone will have little effect on breast cancer risk. However, the real issue here is whether the child continues to have fizzy drinks – and other high calorie, high sugar foods as an adult – maintaining a heavier weight later in life.

“Gaining weight during adult life increases the risk of breast cancer and we advocate a healthy diet and lifestyle to help to reduce risk.”

At Genesis, we promote the idea that a healthy diet and regular exercise will play a vital part in dramatically reducing a person’s chance of developing breast cancer. So, the reduction of fizzy drinks in a diet is sure to benefit health in the long term. Healthier living has been on the Government’s agenda for some time. Its long-running Change4Life campaign has focused on educating people to allow them to make healthier, informed choices on their diet and lifestyle. A key part of this campaign has focused on sugar and its negative impact on health – not just breast cancer, but a host of other illnesses and diseases.

This campaign is a great step in the right direction, but there is still much to be done to help people live healthier lifestyles – and one of the key things that will have an impact on our collective health is reducing the amount of sugar in the foods and drinks we consume, often unknowingly.

Hopefully this research will give further strength to the argument for restrictions of excess sugars in food and drinks, in turn improving people’s diets and hopefully reducing incidences of breast cancer.

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