Obesity is linked to 13 cancers
Being obese is linked to higher risk of at least 13 types of cancers. With the number of overweight and obese people high, cancers related to obesity lead to health and economic burdens. Eating or drinking too much added sugar contributes to obesity. In the U.S., adults consume more than 14% of their daily calories from added sugars. This is above the recommendation of less than 10% of daily calories. We estimate that more than 3,000 new cancer cases per year among U.S. adults are caused by added sugar from sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soda and fruit juice) alone.
Is food nutrition labeling helpful?
In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required that all packaged foods and drinks include the amounts of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label. This aims to help the public make informed food choices and reduce the amount of sugar we eat and drink. Recently, researchers looked at the potential health and economic benefits of sugar-labeling of food and drinks.
Less sugar saves lives and money
Researchers found that sugar-labeling could potentially lower the number of new cancer cases by 30,000. It could also reduce cancer deaths by 17,100, and save $1,600 million in medical costs among U.S. adults over a lifetime. This policy would save over $704 million for society and $1590 million from a health care perspective.
These results suggest that the added sugar-labeling is linked to reduced costs and lower rates of cancers related to obesity. Policymakers may consider and prioritize nutrition policies to prevent cancer in the US.