New Research Links Diet Factors to Cancer Risk

by | April 18, 2023 | From Our Newsletter, Information & Advice

Plates of food on a table.

Recent studies have found that a poor diet decreases overall wellness and longevity, including increasing the risk of developing certain cancers. 

In 2019, a study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum estimated that 5.2 percent of new invasive cancer cases in 2015 were connected to food intake. The study reports evidence that colorectal cancer risk increases with a low whole-grain, low dairy, high processed foods, and high red meat diet. Researchers linked cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx to low fruit and vegetable consumption, and found association between high meat consumption and increased stomach cancer risk. 

Last month, researchers from Tufts and Harvard published findings in the BMJ linking ultra-processed foods to an increased risk of colorectal cancer in men. Ultra-processed foods include anything industrially formulated and mass-produced, such as chips, soft-drinks, or packaged breads. Researchers found that men who consumed high rates of these foods increased their risk of developing colorectal cancer by 29 percent. 

Though these findings may be alarming, it is good to be aware of the potential repercussions of a poor diet. It is also never too late to start making healthy food choices. 

For more information about diet and cancer risk, you can read about these studies on tufts.edu here and here.

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