When asked in his late 90s if his doctor knew he still smoked, comedian George Burns quipped, “no…he’s dead.”
There is no way to know exactly why one person develops cancer and another person doesn’t.
The research is clear, though, that certain risk factors and behaviors do indeed increase a person’s chances of developing cancer, George Burns’ joking aside. Of course, some of these are things people can’t control, like age, and family history, to name a couple.
But there’s another category of cancer-promoting substances that may be just as much a threat as some of the leading risk factors commonly linked to cancer, like smoking.
Would you believe… (drumroll please) Sugary drinks!
“We all know by now those sugar-bomb beverages and other quick-sugar-high foods have already been connected to an increased risk of obesity – and we know obesity ups the risk for liver, kidney, colon, uterus, ovarian, prostate, and stomach cancers,” says Dr. Michael Roizen, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic.
But here’s the kicker: Australian researchers have recently published a study in “Public Health Nutrition” that found that the more sugary drinks people consume, the more likely they are to develop clinical cancers…and the link stood regardless of a person’s size and weight.
What this means to me, is that Coke I love with my occasional In-N-Out burger, or my “once-in-awhile” lemonade or energy drink I rationalize because I’m not gaining weight – I just need to say no, to paraphrase Nancy Reagan.
The Australian scientists suggest (gasp) water – or sparkling water with a spritz of lemon or lime, along with coffee and tea, be your beverages of choice.
Seems sensible enough. “You’ll most likely reduce your cancer risk, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and boost your heart health and brain power” says Dr. Roizen.
All this with one simple change – Cheers!