Most Americans are probably aware that a steady diet of foods like chicken nuggets, candy bars and sodas are not a path to health, yet their low cost and easy access mean these foods are becoming a regular part of many people’s diets in the US and around the world. AICR’s research shows that highly processed foods with added fats and sugars contribute to weight gain and having obesity, thus raising the risk for cancers such as colorectal, endometrial and post-menopausal breast. Now, a population study explores whether there is a direct association between eating these ultra-processed foods and cancer risk.
There’s been a lot of news about taxing sugar-sweetened beverages as one way to improve people’s health and raise revenue that could be used for anti-obesity initiatives or other community programs. While controversial, many public health experts think this could be one way to encourage people to consume fewer sugary drinks and therefore help curb obesity in kids and adults.
It’s no secret that too much added sugar is bad for your health. Among other health risks, sugar adds calories, which may lead to weight gain. Too much body fat causes about 130,600 cases of cancer in the U.S. each year. Eating lots of sugary foods can also mean less room for cancer-protective foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
For a while, it seemed like Americans couldn’t get enough sugar, but that trend may be turning around suggests a new study. Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the study finds that intake of added sugar increased from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s and then began to dip, mostly because people were drinking less sugary beverages.
The downward trend in added sugar consumption continued through at least 2012.