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While this study accounted for many lifestyle factors including age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking status, and physical activity levels, the data is still based on associations, thus, causation cannot be established.
That being said, this is not the first study to find this association and other randomized controlled trials have found that drinking 20 fluid ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages for 3 weeks can increase biomarkers of inflammation up to 100%. Inflammation has been shown to play a key role in cancer initiation and progression.