One Major Side Effect of Drinking Soda for Women, Study Says

Cheyenne Buckingham
·2 min read

This just in—science just gave us another reason not to drink soda. Or, at the very least, not to drink it often.

A new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers&Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that breast cancer patients could be at higher risk of death if they drink sugar-sweetened soda. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)

The observational study followed 927 women between the ages of 35 and 79 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer for nearly 19 years. By completing a food frequency questionnaire, participants gave researchers a look into what their food and beverage intake looked like 12 to 24 months prior to their diagnosis.

The biggest takeaway from the study? Compared to their peers who reported rarely or never drinking sugary soda, women who drank non-diet soda five times or more per week had a 62% higher likelihood of dying from any cause. They were also 85% more likely to die from breast cancer, specifically.

It's important to note that diet soda did not yield the same effects. In fact, the associations didn't change when researchers factored in the consumption of diet soda as a variable.

"Non-diet sodas are the highest contributors of sugar and extra calories to the diet, but they do not bring anything else that is nutritionally beneficial," first author Nadia Koyratty, a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health from the University at Buffalo said in a statement.

"On the other hand, teas, coffees, and 100% fruit juices, unless sugars are added, are healthier beverage options, because they do add to the nutritive value through antioxidants and vitamins."

This is why sodas, along with other sugary drinks and foods, are often referred to as "empty calories." While they boast quite a bit of calories, none of them (or very few) offer nutritional value. Since soda is so high in both sucrose and fructose sugars, frequent consumption of these highly concentrated drinks can potentially lead to other health conditions associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, including type 2 diabetes.

Of course, more studies are needed to confirm the findings in this study, which is purportedly one of the few of its kind that actually explored the relationship between sugary soda consumption and breast cancer risk.

In short, whether you have breast cancer or are a breast cancer survivor and you love sipping on a can of Coca-Cola, you may want to consider cutting back. Instead, try one of these 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives.