Men who drink one 300ml can of soda per day are much more likely to require treatment for a serious form of cancer than those who never consumed the drink.
A 15-year study found those who drank 300ml of a fizzy drink a day -- slightly less than a standard can -- were 40 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who avoid the drinks.
Worryingly, the risk applied not to early-stage disease that was spotted via blood tests but to cancers that had progressed enough to cause symptoms.
This is significant as faster-growing forms of prostate cancer are more likely to be fatal.
It is thought that sugar triggers the release of the hormone insulin, which feeds tumours.
In America in 1850, about 13 ounces of soda were consumed per person per year. In the late 1980s, more than 500 twelve-ounce cans of sodas were consumed per person per year. The 1994 annual report of the beverage industry shows that per-capita consumption of sodas is 49.1 gallons per year. Of this amount, 28.2 percent of consumption is diet soda. Current estimates per-capita is approximately 60 gallons per year. The United States are the largest consumers of soft drink consumption and at least double the consumption of almost every country in the world.
Carbonated soda pop provides more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler's diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.
Fifty-six percent of 8-year-olds down soft drinks daily, and a third of teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda pop per day.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, affecting more than one billion worldwide annually.
The study, published in the respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is far from the first to link the sugary soft drinks which lead to poor health. Previous research has flagged up heart attacks, diabetes, weight gain, brittle bones, pancreatic cancer, muscle weakness and paralysis as potential risks.
In the spring of 2005, research showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and the drinking of carbonated beverages.
For the study, they tracked the health of more than 8,000 men aged 45 to 73 for an average of 15 years. The men, who were in good health at the start of the study, were also quizzed about what they liked to eat and drink.
At the end of the study, they compared the dietary habits of the men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer with those who remained healthy and found a clear link between sugary drinks and the disease.
Lund University researcher Isabel Drake said: ‘Among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 percent.’ The analysis also linked large amounts of cakes and biscuits, and sugary breakfast cereals with a less serious form of the disease.
Diet drinks, and tea and coffee with sugar, were not included in the study.