An analysis of worldwide research on diet, weight, physical activity and liver cancer has found strong evidence that consuming approximately three or more alcoholic drinks a day causes liver cancer. Published today, the finding provides the clearest indication so far of how many drinks actually cause liver cancer.
As a member of the independent panel of scientists that reviewed the worldwide research, this is a significant finding that I hope will help reduce the global number of cases of liver cancer. Currently, it’s the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, accounting for 746,000 deaths globally in 2012.
How alcohol causes liver cancer
Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can cause damage to the liver and lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening of the liver), which is known to increase the risk of this cancer. We know that 90-95% of liver cancer cases have underlying cirrhosis. Alcohol consumption is also carcinogenic to humans, has tumor-promoting effects, and is associated with increased body fat. The latter is a concern because obesity is a risk factor for accumulation of fat in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis and also increase liver cancer risk. Continue reading
You’ve probably heard that cooking at home is an easy way to manage your weight and improve your health. But how much thought have you given to where you go to find new recipes? A study recently published in the journal Appetite found that, if you cook at home, using recipes and other information from TV cooking shows or social media sites may actually put you at risk of being a higher weight.
Recipes on cooking shows are often high in calories. The study used an online survey to ask 501 women ages 20-35 about their preferred sources of information about new foods, cooking habits, weight, and height.
A little over half the women said they cooked from scratch. Among both women who often cook from scratch and women who do not, getting food information from social media was associated with a higher BMI, a measure of body fat.
However, getting food information from TV cooking shows was only associated with a higher BMI among the home cooks and not among the women who rarely cooked. Among the cooking show fans, home cooks weighed 11 pounds more on average compared to non-cooks. Continue reading
For employees who are stressed at work or struggle to make a healthy dinner for their family, a new study finds that a flexible workplace program can help address these concerns and lead to weight loss, adding almost half an hour of weekly physical activity, and improving many other risk factors.
The study focused on employees at risk for type 2 diabetes (86 million US adults are at risk). Lowering risk for type 2 diabetes also means reduced risk for some cancers, including colon, breast (postmenopausal), pancreas and endometrium. Type 2 diabetes increases risk of some cancers, and both diseases share several risk factors such as obesity, elevated insulin levels, and physical inactivity.
The study, published last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found significant improvement in weight, waist size, insulin levels and physical activity in participants. About 90 employees participated by attending group classes or watching a DVD and having a weekly phone call with the lifestyle coach, or a combination of those. Continue reading