Study finds possible link between sugary drinks and cancer

In this photo taken on July 27, 2018, women push a cart laden with North Korean soda drinks across a road in Pyongyang. (AFP)
Updated 11 July 2019

Study finds possible link between sugary drinks and cancer

  • The results showed that a 100 milliliter (ml) a day increase in consumption of sugary drinks was linked to an 18% increased risk of overall cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer

LONDON: People who drink a lot of sugary drinks have a higher risk of developing cancer, although the evidence cannot establish a direct causal link, researchers said on Thursday.
The findings of a large study in France do suggest, however, that limiting intake of sugar-sweetened drinks may help to cut the number of cancer cases in a population, the scientists said.
Consumption of sugary drinks has risen worldwide in the last few decades and is linked to obesity, which itself increases cancer risk. The World Health Organization recommends that people should limit their daily intake of sugar to less than 10% of their total energy intake, but also says a further reduction to below 5%, or about 25 grams a day, would be healthier.
Many countries, including Britain, Belgium, France, Hungary and Mexico, have introduced, or are about to introduce, taxes on sugar with the aim of improving people’s health.
Published in the BMJ British medical journal, this study analyzed data from 101,257 French adults — 21% of them men and 79% women — and assessed their intake or sugary drinks. It followed them for a maximum of 9 years, between 2009 and 2018, to assess their risk for all types of cancer, and for some specific types including breast, colon and prostate cancer.
The researchers also adjusted for several confounding cancer risk factors, including age, sex, educational level, family history, smoking and physical activity levels.

INCREASED RISK
The results showed that a 100 milliliter (ml) a day increase in consumption of sugary drinks was linked to an 18% increased risk of overall cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.
When the sugary drinkers were divided into those who drank fruit juices and those who drank other sweet drinks, both groups were also linked with a higher risk of overall cancer.
For prostate and colorectal cancers, no link was found, but the researchers said this might have been because the numbers of cases of these cancers in the study participants was limited.
Experts not directly involved in the work said it was a well-conducted and robust study, but noted that its results could not establish cause and effect.
“While this study doesn’t offer a definitive causative answer about sugar and cancer, it does add to the overall picture of the importance of the current drive to reduce our sugar intake,” said Amelia Lake, an expert in public health nutrition at Britain’s Teesside University.
“The message from the totality of evidence on excess sugar consumption and various health outcomes is clear – reducing the amount of sugar in our diet is extremely important.”


Baby Talk: How to deal with fears of first time parents

Updated 09 December 2019

Baby Talk: How to deal with fears of first time parents

  • Babies are totally dependent on their parents and care-givers for all their needs
  • Learning is on the job, but you can be prepared

DUBAI: It is natural for a first time mom (and dad) to have fears and worries about the responsibility of their brand new little baby. Babies are tiny, they are vulnerable, and they are totally dependent on their parents and care-givers for all their needs. This can seem overwhelming, and as each baby is different, it is not possible to provide a text-book of answers with each new arrival. Learning is on the job, but you can be prepared.

Common worries of first time parents:

  • Recognizing your baby’s cries

At first your baby’s cries may sound similar to you but soon you will learn to recognize the difference between a hungry cry for feed, a cry of discomfort for a diaper change or other discomfort, or a more serious discomfort such as colic or something else. An unusually high pitched cry can mean illness. You will soon not only know what your baby wants but also recognize your baby’s cry among other babies.

  • Going out of the home with your baby

It can be scary leaving the house for the first time with your new baby; the outside world can seem hazardous and contact with other people give risk to sources of infection. It is perfectly natural to feel this way but important to remember that the benefits or getting out and about with your baby will outweigh the risk with planning and preparation. Take sensible precautions with safety when you are out and ensure you have everything with you that you need including a cell phone for emergencies. Strangers may wish to admire your baby but it is reasonable to not allow others outside immediate family and friends handle your baby. Keep your first trips out short until you feel more comfortable and take someone with you if that helps you build confidence.

(Shutterstock)
  • Waking your sleeping baby

New parents are often frightened to make a noise during their baby’s nap times in case they wake. Naturally you have finally got your baby to sleep and will not want to wake them. It is best to carry out general house chores and conversations as usual because babies are used to noise from within the womb. Background noise of TV, vacuum cleaner, chatting or fans should not be avoided and your baby will become accustomed to sleeping through such noise. Loud and sudden noises will wake a sleeping baby but they should not wake because of usual household noise and there is certainly no need to tiptoe around a sleeping baby.

  • Putting baby down to sleep while they are crying

It is emotionally hard to put your baby in their crib whilst they are crying, particularly if they double their efforts as soon as you have laid them down. However it is also not idea to be in a situation where you cannot put your baby down to sleep for hours whilst you rock and sooth them, exhausting yourself and also possibly your baby. Babies can become overtired and if you have taken care of feeding, changing and winding and your baby is still fussing and crying they may need to sleep and will soon settle if you allow them to cry on their own a short while. The more used a baby is to settling themselves the better for baby and parents. Be brave and try to leave them briefly whilst close at hand and see if they settle by themselves. It is not wise to leave a baby to cry for too long and always seek medical advice if you have any concerns.

  • Handing over the baby care

One of the hardest things for a new mom to do is hand her baby over to another to care for in her absence, sometimes even if the person is her husband and she is only gone for a short time. This is natural and does not mean that you do not trust the person it means that you are programmed to be present for your baby at all times! However it is very important in modern society that you are able to leave your baby with your partner, trusted family members and friends. It is important that your baby leans to be soothed by others than yourself. It will become easier with time. Remember it is not important that your baby is wearing the outfit you would have chosen or if things have not been tidied away like you would have done, the important things is that you were able to have time away from your baby and that your baby is safe on your return.

This article was first published on babyarabia.com.