Powerhouse Fruit and Veggie Rankings: Eat Your Watercress (and Blueberries too!)

In good news for veggies that get little of the limelight, watercress, chinese cabbage and chard tops the list of foods that will give you the most nutrients per bite, suggests a new study. And surprisingly, you’ll find some of the most talked about plant foods in health – such as blueberries – didn’t even make the list.

Chard, ranking #3 on the "powerhouse" list

Chard, ranking #3 on the “powerhouse” list

The study, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, sought to rank how 47 fruits and vegetables stack up as nutrient “powerhouses.” Eating more of these fruits and veggies, notes the study, is one approach linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases, which includes cancer.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about some fruits and vegetables we’re not as familiar with, but for cancer prevention and overall health — ALL fruits and vegetables are powerhouses,” says AICR Associate Director of Nutrition Programs Alice Bender, MS, RDN. “AICR research — and the government guidelines — say what’s most important when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables: eat more, eat a variety.”

For the study, author Jennifer Di Noia, PhD, LCSW, Associate Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University, identified the powerhouses foods based on 17 nutrients, all vital for good health. The nutrients she looked at included vitamins, minerals, protein and Continue reading


Study: Major Rise in Global Obesity, Bad News for Cancer Prevention

A major global report was released today on obesity and the news is grim. The numbers of overweight and obese people around the world have increased dramatically since 1980, in both developing and developed countries and among all age groups, with the United States accounting for 13 percent of the world’s obesity.obesity-and-cancer

The report was published today in The Lancet.

The findings bode ill for cancer prevention: aside from smoking, obesity is the single largest risk factor for cancer. AICR estimates that obesity is a cause of eight cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and ovarian. Obesity also plays a major role in other chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, which also links to increased cancer risk.

The study included data from over 180 countries. Study researchers systematically identified surveys, reports, and studies that provided Body Mass Index data. A BMI of 25 and over is categorized as overweight; 30 and over is obese.

The Lancet report estimates that worldwide, the proportion of adults with a BMI of 25 or greater increased between 1980 and 2013 from 29 percent to 37 percent in men, and from 30 percent to 38 percent in women. Continue reading


New Survey: How Fit is Your City?

Washington, DC, now ranks as America’s fittest metropolitan area, with Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, not far behind, according to a new survey. The American Fitness Index survey takes into account several factors related to cancer prevention, such as being active, obesity and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

AICR estimates that if everyone were to be active, stay lean, and eat healthy, Americans could prevent about one-third of the most common cancers.Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 12.23.13pm

You can read the full report and see how your city ranks at American Fitness Index.

The survey, by the American College of Sports Medicine, looks at measures of personal health and community/environmental health. Personal health indicators included the percent of the population that smokes, is obese, meets government activity guidelines, and eats three or more vegetables a day.

Community health indicators include the percent of people who bike to work and walk, as well as the amount of parks and recreational centers the city has. The survey also used data on how much money the region spends on park expense per resident, and its physical activity requirements for schools.

The cities that ranked lowest in overall fitness include Memphis, Louisville and Oklahoma City.

This is the seventh annual American Fitness Index report. Last year’s fittest city was Minneapolis, but this survey used different methods and new measures from previous reports so they cannot be evenly compared.