New Study on Popular Diets: What’s Best for You

Perhaps you’ve struggled to find a diet that works for you, despite the almost overwhelming number of choices. And research seems to yield varying results. This is important because being a healthy weight can lower your risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and many cancers.Planning of diet.

A new study of popular diets in the Annals of Internal Medicine, completed a systematic review of controlled trials of popular diets and weight loss programs to look at their effectiveness at 12 months. These included Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast, Atkins, SlimFast, eDiets and the LoseIt! app among others.

The authors concluded that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig programs have the most robust evidence for people losing weight at one year when compared to doing nothing or simply getting general education about weight loss. They cited Nutrisystem as showing promise after a few months, but it lacks long-term results. These programs are all considered to be high intensity – meaning they include at least 12 individual or group counseling sessions. Continue reading


Three drinks a day can cause liver cancer, new report finds

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.r-uauy

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


How New Dietary Guidelines Report Align with Cancer-Protective Diet

New dietary guidelines may soon include increased emphasis on dietary patterns, fruits and vegetables while limiting added sugars, red meat and sugary beverages, if the recommendations released today from the Advisory Committee’s report are accepted.

The report is comprehensive — 571-pages long — and the American Institute for Cancer Research is cited throughout. You can read the highlights of how the report findings correspond with a cancer-protective diet in our press release.

Overall, the report aligns closely with AICR’s evidence-based Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, which focus on a plant-based diet. In the executive summary of the report:

The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.

The expert committee also reports on the importance of focusing on eating patterns and foods, as opposed to single nutrients or compounds. As the report states:

These dietary patterns can be achieved in many ways and should be tailored to the individual’s biological and medical needs as well as socio-cultural preferences.

Here at AICR, we have the New American Plate, a flexible way of eating that centers around plant foods. Two-thirds or more of your plate should have fruits, vegetables, whole grains or other plant foods; the rest of your plate has milk, meat, fish or other animal foods. The goal is to consume high amounts of healthful plant foods both for cancer prevention and health, but also to get to/stay a healthy weight.

Yesterday, we wrote about how the report is dropping the longstanding recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol. Here’s how that fits into a cancer-protective diet.

You can go here to download the report and/or the executive summary.

Next comes a public comment period, where there’s also a date for commenting in person. You can submit your comments through their site. And you can also tell us your thoughts about the report in the comments on the blog.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report is the scientific foundation for the upcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Released every 5 years, the guidelines become the basis for food, school and nutrition policy.