Red Meat, Bacon, Processed Meats and Cancer: Back in the News

On Monday the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will release their evaluation of the cancer risk associated with red and processed meat. The findings, leaked to the press, will reportedly support AICR’s analysis of the research on this issue and our recommendation to limit red med meat and avoid processed meat.

updated statement: Diet–Cancer Experts Welcome WHO Report on Meat and Cancer

Here at AICR we haven’t had a chance to read the full IARC report yet. When we do, we’ll update this blog post with our reaction.43846009_s

In the meantime, here is what we know for certain:

  1. Research shows a clear and convincing link between diets high in red meat and risk for colorectal cancer.
  2. Research shows a clear and convincing link between even small amounts of hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats to colorectal cancer.

The IARC report may be new, but the evidence showing a link between red meats and colorectal cancer is not news. For years we have been recommending that Americans reduce the amount of red meat (beef, pork, lamb) in their diets and avoid processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and cold cuts. This advice grows out of our report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective and our recent report on colorectal cancer, This report, part of the Continuous Update Project, analyzed the global scientific research into the link between diet, physical activity, weight and cancer.

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Fact Check: PCRM’s Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention

Yesterday the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a pro-vegan advocacy group, issued its own Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention. In drawing up these guidelines, PCRM interpreted scientific evidence previously collected and analyzed in the American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund expert report.

We at AICR are always pleased to see our reports on cancer risk’s connection to diet, weight management and physical activity cited as the authoritative resources we know them to be. We pride ourselves on our reports’ scientific rigor, comprehensiveness and – above all – objectivity. Physicians, nurses, registered dietitians, researchers, educators, and policy makers rely on our reports for authoritative and evidence-based guidance.

This is why, on those occasions when any advocacy group cites our reports to advance their message, it is important to clarify the distinctions between what that advocacy group is saying, and what our own independent panel of experts has concluded.

Read the rest of the article on our article here.

Study: Following AICR Recommendations Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

Post-menopausal women who follow at least five of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention may cut their risk of developing breast cancer in half compared to those who meet none, suggests a new study that adds to previoiStock_000016308603_ExtraSmallus research showing how each recommendation met decreases a women’s risk.

The three recommendations that most helped women reduce their risk of breast cancer in this study related to eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; being a healthy weight; and drinking one or fewer glasses of wine a day.

The study was published early in the online edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. It was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

For the study, researchers pulled data from approximately 31,000 participants of the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study. The women were ages 50 to 76 at the start and had no history of breast cancer. When the study began, the women filled out questionnaires on their eating habits, weight, activity, medicines they take and other factors that may play a role in breast cancer risk. Continue reading