Snacks Laden With Sugar Linked To Colorectal Cancer Risks
July 16, 2013

Snacks Laden With Sugar Linked To Colorectal Cancer Risks

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Cookies, candies, soft drinks and other sugary foods can increase a person's risk of developing bowel cancer, according to new research appearing in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

As part of the study, experts from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh looked at over 170 different types of foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish and meat in addition to sweet snacks.

The study authors utilized data collected in 2012 as part of the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Study, which involved more than 2,000 bowel cancer patients and nearly 2,800 control subjects, reported Honor Whiteman of Medical News Today.

The study, which is reportedly the first of its kind to uncover a correlation between colorectal cancer and diets high in sugar and fat, also found links with some other established risk factors of the ailment, including family history, smoking and physical activity. Furthermore, the study also builds upon previous research linking diet with the risk of bowel cancer, according to BBC News.

"What we have found is very interesting and it merits further investigation using large population studies," Dr. Evropi Theodoratou of the University of Edinburgh's School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, told the British news agency.

"While the positive associations between a diet high in sugar and fat and colorectal cancer do not automatically imply 'cause and effect', it is important to take on board what we've found - especially as people in industrialized countries are consuming more of these foods," she added.

According to Medical News Today, Theodoratou and her colleagues also reported in their paper that bowel cancer is responsible for 9.7 percent of all cancer cases and 8.0 percent of all cancer-related deaths. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, the Chief Scientist Office and Cancer Research UK.

"Previous studies have linked the risk of bowel cancer to variation in diets," Whiteman said, adding that the European Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) study "revealed that people who consumed a large amount of fiber in their diet had a 25-40 percent reduced risk of developing bowel cancer... The EPIC research also suggests that people who eat an 80 gram portion of fish each day reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by a third."