Food industry lobbyists are exerting pressure on Congress to weaken the soon-to-be-released 2015 USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If they succeed, the Guidelines will put politics before sound science, and fail to provide useable guidance for Americans that could help prevent thousands of cancers every year.
In two new appropriations bills now under consideration by Congress, language has been added that would:
- Subject the Dietary Guidelines to an arbitrary standard of evidence that doesn’t align with accepted scientific practice observed by other government entities like the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institutes of Medicine, as well as the World Health Organization.
- Not allow the Dietary Guidelines to make recommendations on issues closely related to food and nutrition. This would mean, for example, that the clear and convincing evidence about the impact of obesity and inactivity on cancer and other chronic diseases would not be considered.
- Prevent the Dietary Guidelines from:
- proposing public health ideas to help Americans decrease our national intake of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars
- encouraging Americans to increase our physical activity, and
- providing practical guidance to families about healthy eating and living
These changes would represent a huge step backward in national health policy, and – crucially, from AICR’s perspective – mean that much of the evidence showing how people can lower their cancer risk would be effectively ignored, including the latest AICR research on the clear and convincing link between obesity and ten of the most common forms of cancer. Continue reading
Nuts are in fashion, nutritionally speaking, especially for heart health. Now, a new study finds that if you eat a handful of nuts several times a week that may help lower your risk of cancer.
Study results on nut consumption and cancer prevention have been inconsistent. In this systematic review and meta-analysis published in Nutrition Reviews, the researchers evaluated 36 studies – both large population studies and clinical trials – examining the relationship between eating nuts and risk of cancer or type 2 diabetes.
By comparing people who ate the most nuts (typically at least 4-5 times per week) to those who ate the least (typically 1 time per week or less), the researchers found that the high nut eaters had 15 percent lower risk of cancer overall. In specific cancers, they found lower risk for colorectal, endometrial and pancreatic cancer. They did not find any significant difference for risk of type 2 diabetes. Continue reading
For those working to lose weight, hopping on that bathroom scale daily, having goals and charting your progress may be simple but effective ways to bump up weight loss, suggests a new study published today.
The study, published in the Journal of Obesity, adds to a body of research finding that dieters who track their weight have better success at both weight loss and maintenance. And for lower cancer risk, weight is important. Being overweight and obese is a cause of ten cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and liver. AICR’s top Recommendation for Cancer Prevention is for people to stay a healthy weight.
This study was held over two years and it started with approximately 150 participants all learning the same evidence-based strategies for weight loss. Everyone was encouraged to make small healthy changes but they weren’t given a specific diet or exercise plan.
The men and women were then divided into two groups. One group was given a scale and asked to weigh themselves daily, preferably in the morning, and then enter their weight on a (password-protected) website. They were directed to aim for 10% weight loss that first year then maintain it the second year. The website gave each person a chart that tracked their progress along with visualization of goal weights. The chart showed trends, having a line appear 1% below the person’s current weight for a new target weight. (After maintaining that target weight for 8 days, the green line lowered another 1% on the chart.)
example of weight-loss visual, with goals and trends
The second group was told they would receive the weight-loss intervention after a year. Continue reading