Biscuits, sweets, and sausages 'increase men's risk of bowel cancer'

Love your biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks and sausages? They all ‘increase men’s risk of bowel cancer’, new study suggests

  • Ultra-processed foods have been linked to higher rates of bowel cancer in men
  • They include instant soup and noodles and sweet or savoury packaged snacks 
  • Researchers assessed diet via food questionnaires completed every four years

Biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks and sausages may increase men’s risk of bowel cancer, a study suggests.

Ultra-processed foods – which also include instant soup and noodles and sweet or savoury packaged snacks – have been linked to higher rates of the disease, researchers said. 

US academics examined data taken from three long-term health studies involving more than 46,000 men and almost 160,000 women. 

Ultra-processed foods – which also include instant soup and noodles and sweet or savoury packaged snacks – have been linked to higher rates of the disease, researchers said

Participants were tracked for 24 to 28 years and during this time, 3,216 cases of bowel cancer were identified.

The researchers, from Tufts University in Boston, assessed diet through food questionnaires, which were completed every four years by participants. 

Men who ate the most ultra-processed foods were 29 per cent more likely to have developed bowel cancer than those who ate the lowest amount – but the link was not found among women.

However, when the researchers, whose study is reported in the British Medical Journal, looked at sub-groups of ultra-processed food they found that women who consumed the highest quantities of ready meals had a 17 per cent increased risk of bowel cancer compared with those in the lowest consumption group.

Biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks and sausages may increase men’s risk of bowel cancer, a study suggests

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