This included fruit juices (even without added sugars), soft drinks, milks, teas or sugary coffees and energy drinks.
The results showed that 100 ml per day of sugary drinks could be associated with a 22% increased risk of developing breast cancer and an 18% increased risk of developing any type of cancer.
Sugary drinks like orange juice or soda may increase the risk of contracting cancer, French scientists have claimed.
Another possibility is that additives, such as 4-methylimidazole, which is found in drinks that contain caramel coloring, could play a role in cancer formation.
Still, beverage industry groups claim that sugary drinks are safe to drink. Studies have indeed shown that people who drink the most sugary drinks (about 185 ml per day) are more likely to have cancer than those who drink the least (less than 30 ml per day). She continued saying that America's leading beverage companies are working to reduce the sugar consumers intake from their beverages by offering more possibilities with less or zero sugar. A result that does not prove the connection of cause and effect, but which demonstrates a "significant association", they explain.
In an emailed statement, Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association - which represents manufacturers including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo - agreed with the ABA that soft drinks were safe to consume as part of a balanced diet.
However, the study said it was not the whole story.
To reach these conclusions, the nutritional epidemiology research team at Inserm followed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people for nine years (78% women and 21% men).
According to the study published in the journal of BMJ, participants completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, created to measure usual intake of 3,300 different food and beverage items and were followed up for a maximum of 9 years (2009-2018). Internationally, Mexico - which has one of the world's highest soda consumption rates - has an 8 cent per litre tax on soft drinks, while the United Kingdom has introduced taxes on soft drinks containing more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml.
Researchers set out to assess the associations between the consumption of sugary drinks (sugar sweetened beverages and 100 per cent fruit juices), artificially sweetened (diet) beverages, and risk of overall cancer, as well as breast, prostate, and bowel (colorectal) cancers. Chazelas and colleagues accounted for potential confounders, including age, sex, education, hereditary risk of cancer, and lifestyle factors - such as smoking behaviour and exercise patterns. The researchers said that if everyone in the study had 100 ml of sugary drinks a day, there would have been an additional four cases (or 26 cases of cancer per 1,000 people) over the five year study. The researchers pointed out that some of the chemicals in the drink, such as those that make the drink attractive, may also be one of the cancer culprits.
"Clearly there is more work to be done and measuring dietary intake is challenging, however, the message from the totality of evidence on excess sugar consumption and various health outcomes is clear - reducing the amount of sugar in our diet is extremely important", Lake told the Science Media Centre in the UK. She was not involved in the current study.