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Mile High Natural Awakenings

Avoid Sugary Drinks to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

Person offering sugary beverage to hand declining


Getting teens to eat well can be an uphill battle, but new evidence shows its long-term importance. Drinking two sugary drinks per day from ages 13 to 18 increases by 32 percent the risk of colorectal cancer in women by age 50 when compared to drinking less than one such drink each week, Washington University School of Medicine researchers report in the journal Gut. The study used data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, which tracked the health of nearly 116,500 female nurses from 1991 to 2015. Other drinks, including milk and unsweetened coffee, were associated with a decreased risk. Early-onset colorectal cancer rates have risen alarmingly in the last 20 years, causing the American Cancer Society to lower its recommended age for a first colonoscopy from 50 to 45.

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