Cut drinking to reduce risk of cancer, says new guidance from United Kingdom

BMJ reports that new guidelines from all four UK chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol raises the risk of a range of cancers. An expert advisory group examined the evidence from 44 systematic reviews and meta-analyses published since a 1995 report and concluded that there was strong evidence that the risk of a range of cancers, particularly breast cancer, increased directly in line with consumption of any amount of alcohol. Another recent report from the UK Committee on Carcinogenicity said that between 4% and 6% of all new cancers in the UK in 2013 were caused by alcohol consumption.

Purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico decline after tax

A new study in BMJ assessing the impact of Mexico’s tax on sugar-sweetened beverages found that purchases of taxed beverages decreased by an average of 6% and decreased at an increasing rate up to a 12% decline by December 2014. All three socioeconomic groups reduced purchases of taxed beverages, but reductions were higher among the households of low socioeconomic status, averaging a 9% decline during 2014, and up to a 17% decrease by December 2014 compared with pretax trends. Purchases of untaxed beverages were 4% higher than before 2014 mainly driven by an increase in purchases of bottled plain water.

Slide1[photo: A poster from the campaign for Mexico’s sugar tax. Message says: “With the soda tax, water fountains in schools and public places.”]