Scientists and researchers around the globe are finding links between cancer and diet. According to a latest study, consuming a poor diet may give rise to a number of health issues, one of them being cancer. The study published in the journal 'JNCI Cancer Spectrum', revealed that more than 80,000 cancer cases in some parts of the world were linked to poor diet.
The study was conducted by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. The researchers analysed cancer diagnoses among adults from 2015 along with data from two national surveys on Americans' diets to see how many cases were linked to poor diets. Poor diet refers to diet that is especially low in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and high in processed sugar, sugary beverages and red meat.
The findings are also comparable to the number of cancer cases linked to alcohol consumption, which amount to between 4 and 6 per cent. The researchers said that excessive body weight is linked to 7 per cent to 8 per cent of cases and lack of physical activity is associated with 2 per cent to 3 per cent.
"Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake," said study author Fang Zhang and cancer and nutrition researcher.
Of all types of cancers, colorectal cancer had the highest link to poor diet. Roughly 38 per cent, or 52,000 cases, of colorectal cancer diagnosed in 2015 were related to consumption of poor diet. That compared to around 14,400 cancer cases of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx, 3,165 cases of uterine cancer, and 3,060 cases of post-menopausal breast cancer.
The authors proposed putting government-sponsored warning labels on red meats and other ultra-processed foods. They said that manufacturers must adhere to nutrition policies and also called for better government policies to address cancer burden.