Reflections about Nutrition on World Cancer Day

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We don’t need special foods for cancer prevention.WCD_Logo_RGB_2012

Buckminster Fuller was a true genius of our times, but he nearly killed himself with a special diet. He reasoned that because mankind was at the top of the evolutionary ladder he should also be at the top of the food chain, so for several weeks he ate only meat. After his collapse and hospitalization for kidney failure he decided he might be wrong about that. Because Steve Jobs occasionally purged himself by eating only fruit, and was a creative and successful man before he succumbed to pancreatic cancer, the actor Ashton Kutcher reasoned that a fruit-only diet might be a good idea. After his recent hospitalization for pancreatitis caused by that diet, I suspect he is now re-thinking that idea too.

I am an epidemiologist with a particular interest in studying how nutrition affects one’s risk of getting cancer. Over the past 30 years I have many times been struck by the constant parade of ideas about how cancer risk might be reduced by eating special foods, by taking special supplements, or by adopting particular cuisines.

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