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Poor Diet Effects Rank Among Top Cancer Causes In US

Poor Diet Effects Rank Among Top Cancer Causes In US

There is a new reason for you to check your current diet. Researchers warned that food has been a major contributor to the rising number of cancer cases in the U.S.



A new study, published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, shows a link between more than 80,100 cancer cases in 2015 and diet-related factors. The figure covered 5.2 percent of U.S. adults in that year. The researchers also associated excessive body weight to 7 to 8 percent of cancer.

"Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake," Fang Fang Zhang, author of the study and a cancer and nutrition researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, said in a statement.
Poor Diet Effects Rank Among Top Cancer Causes In US
The findings come from the analysis of earlier studies that focused on diet and cancer relations, including research conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Third Expert Report.

The diets that contributed to development of cancer over the past years included low whole grain, low dairy, high processed meat, high red meat consumption, low fruit and vegetable consumption, high processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages. Lack or overconsumption of these foods led to a dozen types of cancer, including those of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and stomach.

Colorectal cancer covered the highest proportion of diet-related cases, with 38.3 percent of all cases in 2015 linked to suboptimal diets. Cancer of the mouth, pharynx and larynx ranked second on the list.

Men, middle-aged Americans and racial or ethnic groups experienced most of the diet-associated cancer burden compared to other age, gender or groups. The researchers said low whole grain intake was linked to the largest number and proportion of new cancer cases.

In 2015, alcohol consumption contributed to 4 to 6 percent of cancer risks, while nearly 16 percent were attributable to obesity-mediated pathways.

The study is part of the Food Policy Review and Intervention Cost-Effectiveness (Food-PRICE) research initiative, which gathers researchers at the Friedman School to identify cost-effective nutrition strategies to improve population health in the U.S.

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