Yet another cancer study has ruined bacon and beer for us
Cutting alcohol and leading an active life can reduce your risk of getting cancer by up to 40%
Cut out alcohol and bacon entirely to slash the risk of cancer, a new global blueprint on preventing the disease says.
Its authors said all sugary drinks should also be shunned, advising people to “stick to water” as part of efforts to cut their risk by up to 40%.
The 10-point plan, issued by the The World Cancer Research Fund (WRCF), follows a review of studies on 51 million people – the most comprehensive analysis yet of the causes of the disease.
It links excess weight to at least 12 cancers – more than twice as many as its assessment a decade ago – and sets out specific advice on how to cut the risks.Researchers said that “very strong evidence” linking unhealthy lifestyles to cancer had grown since 2007, prompting them to issue the tough recommendations.And they said that obesity could overtake smoking as the leading cause of cancer within two decades.
In recent years, several studies have linked alcohol and processed meats to an increased risk of the disease with alcohol most closely linked to breast cancer, while processed meats such as bacon increase the chance of bowel disease.The new guidelines state: “For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol.” It warns that “alcohol is strongly linked to an increased risk of six cancers”, including breast, bowel and liver cancer.
And they say there is “no level of intake” of processed meats that does not increase cancer risks, while recommending only a limited intake of any red meat.
The new recommendations, launched at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, highlight the risks caused by excess weight.
The 10-point plan sets out a “package” of lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cancer; such as being a healthy weight, being physically active every day and eating a varied diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables.Dr Giota Mitou, WRCF director of research funding, said that the only drinks carrying no cancer risk were those containing neither sugar nor alcohol.
“Sticking to water will be the best recommendation,” she said.
The research warns that unhealthy lifestyles are fuelling rising numbers of cancer cases across the world, which are forecast to rise by around 60% by 2035.
The review, led by Imperial College London, tracked all published literature on the links between diet, physical activity and cancer, in studies involving 51 million people, 3.5 million of whom developed cancer.“This is very robust evidence of what affects and doesn’t affect cancer risk,” Mitou said.
“With more and more countries adopting a westernised lifestyle ... new cancer cases are predicted to be increased to 24 million annually worldwide by 2035.”
“We have very strong evidence linking overweight and obesity to cancer which has grown over the past decade", she added.
“So now we have 12 cancer sites linked to being overweight and obese – this is five more than 10 years ago,” she said.
The guidance recommends keeping a healthy weight throughout life, avoiding any weight gain in adulthood – at the lower end of healthy weight ranges.Mitrou said: “Our cancer prevention recommendations work together as a blueprint to beat cancer that people can trust, because they are based on evidence that has now proved consistent for decades.”
The study says those in sedentary jobs should take “special care” to build exercise into everyday life – suggesting at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity activity – such as gardening, vigorous housework or walking.“For cancer prevention, it is likely that the greater the amount of physical activity, the greater the benefit,” it states.
And it says increasing amount of “screen time” on smartphones and computers is fuelling soaring obesity levels.
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, backed the findings.
But she said people should not worry about the occasional glass of wine or bacon sandwich.
“This report supports what we already know – the key to cutting cancer risk is through our way of life. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating and drinking healthily and getting more active all helps.“A bacon butty or glass of wine every so often isn’t anything to worry about; it’s the things you do every day that matter most. Building small changes into your daily life, like choosing sugar-free drinks or walking more, can add up to a big difference for your health,” she said.
In addition to the 10-point plan, not smoking and avoiding other exposure to tobacco and excess sun are also important in reducing cancer risk.
The “Mediterranean diet” hailed by health experts barely exists in southern Europe, with the spread of junk food diets fuelling soaring obesity rate, new research shows.
Experts from the World Health Organisation said children in Sweden were more likely to to eat the foods associated with countries like Italy and Greece, which now have some of the highest obesity levels in Europe.Researchers looked at 34 nations, not including the UK.They found more than four in 10 primary school children were overweight or obese in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain. In Britain, around one in three children weigh too much by the time they leave primary school.Dr Joao Breda, head of the WHO European Office for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, said: “The Mediterranean diet for children in these countries is gone.
“Those closer to the Med diet were Swedish kids.”
The “Med diet” is characterised by a balance of fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes and fish.
But Breda said rising numbers of those in southern Europe were instead turning to snacks and junk foods, away from their traditional diet.
– © The Daily Telegraph