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Tuesday, 24th May 2011

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective

Source: World Cancer Research Fund UK

From Press Release:

The most authoritative ever report on bowel cancer risk has confirmed that red and processed meat increase risk of the disease and concluded that the evidence that foods containing fibre protect against bowel cancer has become stronger.The report, released as part of World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research’s (WCRF/AICR) groundbreaking Continuous Update Project (CUP), has examined the links between bowel cancer risk and diet, physical activity and weight, and updated the bowel cancer findings of the WCRF/AICR’s 2007 Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective.

A systematic review of the evidence was carried out by WCRF/AICR-funded scientists at Imperial College London, who added 263 new papers on bowel cancer to the 749 that were analysed as part of the 2007 Report. An independent Expert Panel then reviewed the results and made judgements.

For red and processed meat, findings of 10 new studies were added to the 14 studies analysed as part of the 2007 Report. The Panel confirmed that there is convincing evidence that both red and processed meat increase bowel cancer risk.WCRF/AICR recommends that people limit consumption to 500g (cooked weight) of red meat a week - roughly the equivalent of five or six medium portions of roast beef, lamb or pork - and avoid processed meat.

The Expert Panel behind the CUP’s judgements also concluded that the evidence that foods containing dietary fibre reduce bowel cancer risk has become stronger since the publication of the 2007 report. They considered the evidence sufficient to strengthen the conclusion that foods containing fibre protect against bowel cancer from “probable” to “convincing”.

The analysis for fibre included adding seven more studies to the existing eight from the 2007 Report, and the result was that the evidence became much more consistent.

This strengthens WCRF/AICR’s recommendation for people to consume a plant-based diet including foods containing fibre, such as wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and pulses such as beans.

The Panel also confirmed that the evidence published since 2007 did not change the judgements that there is convincing evidence that being physically active reduces risk of bowel cancer and that excess body fat – especially around the waist – remains a convincing cause of bowel cancer. There is also convincing evidence that alcohol consumption increases bowel cancer risk in men and it also probably increases risk in women.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 1 MB)

+ Press Release


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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