Research Preview: Life After Childhood Cancer and The Goldilocks Effect

It’s our favorite time of year. All of us at AICR are eagerly gearing up for our annual research conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer here in Washington, DC, from October 29-31.

We spend the months in the run-up to the research conference looking forward to welcoming hundreds of investigators, clinicians, nurses, registered dietitians, policy makers and members of the media wGenetically Modified foodho are passionately interested in how nutrition, physical activity and obesity intersect with cancer risk.

Selecting which subjects will make for engaging and enlightening conference sessions is a job our Conference Program Committee takes seriously, and for good reason: the AICR conference’s focus on the nutrition and cancer connection is unique and specific, and it continues to sets us apart.

Our Program Committee is keenly aware that making a topic the subject of an AICR conference session does far more than simply gather scientists in a room to discuss the latest findings. It also serves to raise the visibility of a research topic before a global audience of scientists, health professionals, shapers of health policy, and the press. In a very real sense it can help drive the research agenda for the field. Continue reading


Increasing Waistlines and Cancer Risk

Americans’ waistlines are widening, finds a new study, even as our weight appears to be holding steady. The findings are important for cancer risk — along with other diseases — because while obesity is a clear cause of cancers, abdominal obesity may also independently increase risk.canstockphoto17693287

The study, published in JAMA, found that Americans’ average waist circumference increased progressively slightly more than an inch from 1999 to 2012. During those years, waists bumped up from 37.6 to 38.8 inches.

Prevalence also increased, with over half of Americans now having abdominal obesity. Prevalence rose from 46 percent in 1999 to 54 percent in 2012, among both men and women.

The study included 32,816 participants who were part of multiple national surveys from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012. Previous analyses of data from the same surveys show that obesity did not change much from 2003 to 2012, the authors write. Continue reading


Challenge Yourself: Putting Weight Loss Apps to the Test

How do you set your weight loss goals into motion and embark on a new plan? AICR’s New American Plate (NAP) Challenge, a 12-week weight loss program, is kicking off now, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about my first recommendation to any new patient I see seeking weight loss: food records. canstockphoto7929741

Accountability is a key component to behavior change, and is particularly effective for weight loss. Maintaining a healthy body weight will help reduce your cancer risk, and now’s the perfect time to use all your resources that can make this journey a bit easier.

Have you ever noticed you’re more likely to go to a gym class if you’ve committed to go with your friend? Or that you are less likely to overspend at the grocery store when you have a list?

Keeping a food record is one of the best forms of personal accountability. Once you start to learn about your own patterns and triggers to eating, you can identify areas to modify that will help you achieve your weight loss goals. There are many online programs and phone apps that make it easy to track your food intake and learn more about which foods and meals prove the best nutrition. Now the question is, how do you choose the best app? Continue reading