By Elise Viebeck - 07/03/12 04:27 PM EDT
"We know there is a direct link between excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, and the adverse health effect can be profound."
Writing to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Hansen sought to highlight a possible link between obesity and cancer.
He cited his group's cancer-prevention guidelines, which state, "Consuming a healthy diet can substantially reduce one’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer."
A "comprehensive" surgeon general study on the issue could "perhaps begin to change the direction of public behavior in their choices of food and drinks," he wrote.
Hansen's letter was dated Tuesday.