Drinking just one-and-a-half cans a day causes early puberty and that increases their cancer risk.
For each year they mature earlier, it is estimated breast cancer risk increases by five per cent.
The Harvard Medical School study of 5 583 girls aged nine to 14 found those who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who drank two or fewer drinks a week.
Drinks with added sugar are said to ramp up insulin concentration in the body, which in turn results in higher concentrations of sex hormones, normally associated with periods starting earlier.
Associate professor Karin Michels said: “Our study adds to increasing concern about the widespread consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks among children and adolescents.
“The main concern is about childhood obesity, but our study suggests that age of first menstruation (menarche) occurred earlier, independently of body mass index, among girls with the highest consumption of drinks sweetened with added sugar.
“Our findings suggest frequent consumption may be associated with earlier menarche.”
– The Telegraph