According to a recent study, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases by 90% with the intake of at least two sugar-based drinks.
Pancreatic cancer risk was 70% higher in people who added sugar to any food or drink at least 5 times a day when compared with those who added no sugar.
In spite of high sugar intake been already considered as a risk factor, it is for the first time that researchers have shown a direct association between sugary food, drink and pancreatic cancer.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted a dietary survey of 80,000 people, in good health, from 1997. Their diet was monitored till June 2005. 131 people had developed pancreatic cancer by then.
"The researchers have now been able to show that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is related to the amount of sugar in the diet," the institute said in a statement.
"Despite the fact that the chances of developing pancreatic cancer are relatively small, it's important to learn more about the risk factors behind the disease," said Susanna Larsson, one of the researchers involved in the study.
"It was a very large study, but it's only the first one and so of course we will need more to be done," she said.
She appealed to soft drinks companies to reduce the sugar content of their drinks.
According to scientists, pancreatic cancer risk increases with higher levels of insulin production by the pancreas. Intake of more sugar increases the production of insulin.
If further studies support the findings of this study, non-carbonated soft drinks will also be brought under scrutiny along with the fizzy drinks, though the former are thought to be healthier than the latter.