New Nutrition Label, New Tool for Cancer Prevention

In the next couple of years, it may be easier to know whether your packaged food choice is a cancer fighter or an empty calorie bust.

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA unveiled their proposed Nutrition Facts Label and the emphasis is clearly on calories, added sugar and serving sizes. That’s important, because eating too many calories means weight gain, and consuming sugary drinks is strongly linked with weight gain, overweight and obesity.

And, 117,000 cases of cancer every year are caused by obesity in the U.S., so anything that shines a light on how much we are actually eating is a step in the right direction.

To be clear, many of the best cancer-fighting foods don’t have labels on them. Think tomatoes, carrots, apples, squash, blueberries, leafy greens and any fruit or vegetable in the produce section. But in many grocery aisles, you may need some help with choosing foods like soups, yogurt and cereals.

Here are 3 ways the new label will help you choose cancer fighters:

1.            Big, Bold Calories: It’s the first thing that you see –no confusion about how many calories you’re getting. You will need to know how to put calories in context, though. But if you know you’re aiming for about 1600 calories per day, for example, a snack that packs more than 200 calories may help you put that food back on the shelf.

Eat so that you can get to and stay a healthy weight – it is the most important thing you can do to lower cancer risk (after not smoking). Continue reading


Cancer Prevention: Not Sexy or Hot

One of the most common responses when I tell people the most important things they can do to prevent cancer, based on the scientific evidence, is that the things seem so simple or obvious.Healthy lifestyle concept, Diet and fitness

Maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active. Use sunscreen and sun protective clothing when you can’t choose to be in the shade. Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose to spend time in places free of secondhand smoke. Quit smoking if you smoke.

They do sound like health tips. They aren’t sexy or “hot” or “new” like it would be to talk about plastics, pesticides, lotions and the like. But here’s the thing… while we still have plenty of work to do to explore the role those factors might play in cancer, we KNOW that the things above matter. We know that if we implemented those things and a few others, we could prevent at least HALF of all cancers. Continue reading


Just How Many Cancers Are Preventable?

On Tuesday, World Cancer Day, the preventability of cancer made big headlines around the world. Here at AICR, we were pleased to see that.
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After all, we’ve dedicated ourselves to funding and analyzing research, which shows we can prevent one-third of the most common cancers — over 374,000 U.S. cancer cases every year — by changes to our diet, physical activity and weight.

But you may have seen headlines with different numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that one half of all cancers are preventable. We heard from some of you who were confused because AICR says we can cut the number of cancers by one third.

So, which is it? How many cancers don’t have to happen: one-third, or one-half? Who’s right, AICR or WHO?

The answer, of course, is that we both are. Continue reading