In response to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, American Beverage Association consultant Dr. Richard Adamson, former director of the Division of Cancer Etiology, National Cancer Institute, issued the following statement:


“This study does not show that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption causes endometrial cancer.  In fact, its findings conflict with the results of several other published studies that showed no association between consumption of sugar and risk for endometrial cancer. 

The Mayo Clinic states common risk factors as changes in female hormones, older age, obesity, and inherited genetic conditions – not sugar or beverage consumption.  Moreover, the study only measured dietary behaviors at the very beginning of the study, yet makes conclusions about health outcomes over 12 years.”

Additional Background:

On the Study:

This study’s findings do not establish causation, but rather show an association.  Importantly, demonstrating association is not the same as establishing causation. Several other published studies have shown no association between risk for endometrial cancer and sugar consumption.  One of these was a prospective study published in the same journal in 2011 (Friberg et al), which showed no connection between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and increased risk for endometrial cancer. Among the subjects, the upper quintile for sugar-sweetened beverage consumption had a range from 1.7 to 60.5 servings a week – the difference between 1 can and more than three 12-packs a week (in 8-ounce servings). This is a very broad range.

On Endometrial Cancer:

Mayo Clinic, an institution where one of the researchers is affiliated, data shows that common risk factors for endometrial cancer include changes in female hormones, older age, obesity, hormone therapy for breast cancer and inherited genetic conditions. National Cancer Institute data shows that endometrial cancer primarily affects postmenopausal women with an average age of about 60 years when diagnosed.  The known risk factors include obesity, a high-fat diet, reproductive factors such as early menarche and late menopause, and postmenopausal estrogen usage. There are numerous factors that have been associated with a decreased risk for endometrial cancer – including a diet low in fat, a diet high in plant foods, consumption of soy products and use of combined oral contraceptives for at least a year – which the authors failed to factor into this study. 

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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s Web site at or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.