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Thousands Of US Cancer Cases Linked To Poor Diet: These Popular Food Products May Increase Your Cancer Risk

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More than 80,000 new cases of invasive cancer cases in the United States are linked to poor diet. What popular food products can increase a person's risk of developing the deadly disease?

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Findings of a new study published in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum have shown the significant impact of diet on people's risk of developing cancer.

Cancer And Food Intake

Study researcher Fang Fang Zhang, from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues looked at the dietary intake of American adults covering the period between 2013 and 2016 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Analysis of the data, along with those of national cancer incidents in 2015 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that diet-related factors may be responsible for 80,110 of new invasive cancer cases among adults in the United States.

The number is equivalent to 5.2 percent of the year's total cancer cases among adult Americans.

Diet-related factors in particular have the highest impact on colon and rectal cancer, where 38.3 percent of the cases are attributable to poor diet.

Weight-related factor is only linked to 7 to 8 percent of cancer cases, and physical inactivity is associated with just 2 to 3 percent.

"Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake," Zhang said.

Foods That May Increase Cancer Risk

Several foods have been linked to increased cancer risk and reducing intake of these products may help reduce odds of developing the fatal disease and other health problems.

  • Processed Meats

In 2015, the World Health Organization issued warning about the cancer risks posed by processed meat. According to WHO, bacons, sausages, and burgers may be as harmful as cigarettes.

  • Sugar-Sweetened Food And Beverages

Sugar may not directly cause cancer but it can promote weight gain and excess fat is known to increase risk for a range of health problems including type 2 diabetes and cancer. Body fat can likewise induce chronic inflammations that can promote excess cell growth. Cakes, ice cream, sodas, and other sweetened beverages contain high levels of sugar.

"Low whole-grain consumption was associated with the largest cancer burden in the US, followed by low dairy intake, high processed-meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red-meat intake and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages," Zhang said.

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