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Soda Shocker

Study:  Two Sodas per Week Increases Pancreatic Cancer Risk 87 Percent

What will it take to stop soda pop's popularity?

The facts and figures on the amount of soda consumed in the world are eye-popping.  Consider these mind-numbing numbers from bellybytes.com:

  • The soft drink industry makes an estimated $40 billion per year
  • 40 percent of toddlers drink at least one can of soda per day
  • 10 percent of soft drinks are consumed in the morning hours
  • Soft drink consumption has increased 200 percent since the 1950s
  • The average person consumes 500 cans of soda per year

With numbers like these, it’s little wonder that Coca-Cola purchases more sugar than any other company in the world.

Yet with all the negative things we know about soda and its impact on our health, it remains grocery stores most sold item.

What will it take to knock soda pop off its perch?  Perhaps the latest study slamming soda will do the trick.

A new study published in the pages of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has found that soda dramatically increases a person’s risk for pancreatic cancer.

The University of Minnesota researchers followed over 60,500 volunteers who took part in the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

When they looked into the rate of pancreatic cancer, a very low number was diagnosed with the disease, a mere 140 people out of 60,524.

But what really took the researchers aback was how prevalent it was among men and women that consumed soda regularly.

They found that among those who consumed at least two soft drinks a week (not a day, a week) were 87 percent more likely to be among those with pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is fairly rare compared to lung cancer and breast cancer, but it’s no less deadly.  There are about 37,680 diagnoses in the United States alone per year, and another 34,290 who die from it per year.  Patrick Swayze put a face to pancreatic cancer after he died from it mid-September 2009.  He was diagnosed in March 2008.

The researchers are quick to note that their findings don’t prove a causal connection.  Their analysis didn’t take into account other foods and behaviors believed to increase a person’s risk for pancreatic cancer, like consuming red meat (particularly charred red meat) or smoking.

Nevertheless, that 87 percent is high enough to turn heads.  Certainly this head.

Soda is the most frequently purchased grocery store item.  Could this latest study be soda’s swan song?  One can only hope.

Sources:
bellybytes.com
msnbc.msn.com

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