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Once in 5 years, the American Cancer Society publishes its updated guidelines on nutrition and physical activity in the context of cancer prevention [1]. Among the detailed advice is the following quote: ‘Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks.’ How this general phrasing relates to specific cancer types is discussed below, and a recent study serves as a good starting point [2]. The investigators evaluated the impact of dietary intake of sugary foods and beverages, as well as added sugar and total sugar on endometrial cancer risk in a population-based, case-control study, including 424 cases and 398 controls. Participants completed an interview and food frequency questionnaire and provided self-recorded waist and hip measurements. Women in the highest quartile of added sugar intake had significantly increased endometrial cancer risk (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.16–2.92). Among women with waist-to-hip ratio ≥ 0.85, risk was significantly higher for the highest versus lowest tertile of added sugar intakes (OR 2.50, 95% CI 1.38–4.52). The association with added sugar also became stronger when analyses were restricted to never users of hormone replacement therapy (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.27–3.26, for highest versus lowest tertile). There was little evidence of effect modification by body mass index or physical activity.


  • Amos Pines
    Department of Medicine T, Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv, Israel


  1. . Kushi LH, Doyle C, McCullough M, et al. American Cancer Society Guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA Cancer J Clin 2012;62:30-67.
  2. King MG, Chandran U, Olson SH, et al. Consumption of sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 May 9. Epub ahead of print
  3. Arcidiacono B, Iiritano S, Nocera A, et al. Insulin resistance and cancer risk: an overview of the pathogenetic mechanisms. Exp Diabetes Res 2012;2012:789174.
  4. Hunn J, Rodriguez GC. Ovarian cancer: etiology, risk factors, and epidemiology. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2012;55:3-23.
  5. King MG, Olson SH, Paddock L, et al. Sugary food and beverage consumption and epithelial ovarian cancer risk: a population-based case-control study. BMC Cancer 2013;13:94.
  6. Silvera SA, Jain M, Howe GR, Miller AB, Rohan TE. Energy balance and breast cancer risk: a prospective cohort study. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2006;97:97-106.
  7. Holman DM, White MC. Dietary behaviors related to cancer prevention among pre-adolescents and adolescents: the gap between recommendations and reality. Nutr J 2011;10:60.
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