A new study conducted by British researchers has found that consuming high energy snacks, such as chocolates, biscuits and cakes, could increase the risk of bowel cancer while drinking lots of coffee could provide a protective effect.
The study was conducted by researchers at Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities who asked over 2,000 men and women suffering from bowel cancer to fill out a questionnaire while another 3,000 people of similar age and background also took part in the survey which asked questions on over 170 different foods.
The researchers found that those who regularly ate 'high energy snack foods', such chocolates, desserts, biscuits and cakes, were 18 percent more likely to develop bowel cancer compared to others. Drinking high quantities of fizzy drinks also increased the risk by 12 percent. The researchers found the increased risk to be true even when they considered obesity and lack of exercise, two factors known to increase the risk of bowel cancer. The study has been published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.
"While this study on its own can't show for sure that these foods are linked to cancer risk, it's still a good idea to limit the amount of high-sugar and high-calorie foods and drinks in your diet. Having too much of these types of foods can lead you to put on weight, which we know is linked to higher risks of bowel cancer. The best ways to reduce the risk of bowel cancer are to cut down on alcohol, get active, eat a balanced diet and aim to keep a healthy weight", Cancer Research UK's Jessica Harris, who was also involved in the study, said.