Anyone who has ditched soda for fruit juice in the name of health may want to pay heed to a new study in the British Medical Journal. Researchers say modest daily consumption of any sugary drink is linked to a higher risk of cancer, reports CNN. The study finds that people who drink 100ml (about 3.4 ounces) a day, the equivalent of a little less than one-third of a can of soda, have an 18% greater risk of developing cancer. The study is observational, meaning it's only pointing out the association, not explaining it or establishing causation, per the BBC. Researchers followed more than 100,000 adults in France over nine years, and they saw no difference in risk between sodas and even "100% fruit juices." For the purposes of the study, any drink with at least 5% sugar is a "sugary drink."
"The main driver of the association seems to be sugar, so when we just look at the sugar content per 100ml, regular Coke or 100% orange juice, for instance, are quite the same," says lead researcher Mathilde Touvier. "So it’s not so odd that we observe this association for fruit juices." As for what could be the drivers of the link, the researchers suggest the impact on blood sugar is a possibility. The research team did not find a link between cancer and drinks with artificial sweeteners, though the numbers were too small to be significant, reports the Guardian. Touvier says researchers aren't recommending that people stop drinking fruit juice or other sugary drinks altogether. Consuming one glass "from time to time ... won’t be a problem, but if you drink at least one glass a day it can raise the risk of several diseases," she says. (Read more sugary drinks stories.)