Already under fire from links to the growing rate of obesity amongst children, carbonated drinks have now been linked to an increased risk of oesophageal cancer.

The link has been made by researchers in the US at a conference of cancer and gastrointestinal experts.

The research was made by a team at Tata Memorial Hospital in India who found a strong correlation between the increase in per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the last 50 years and a the rise in oesophageal cancer in the US.

Though the findings could merely be a coincidence, the research claimed to have found some medical support for its suggestion.

Carbonated soft drinks cause the stomach to distend, which in turn causes the gastric reflux associated with oesophageal cancer.