Q: I keep seeing recommendations about cups of vegetables, but I’m confused about how many I should be eating. What about my kids?
A: If you’re like most adults, you should be aiming for 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, as seen in the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern from the Dietary Guidelines. This amount also holds for children ages 9 and older. Targets for children age 8 and under, are less – about 1 to 1.5 cups a day.
“Cups” of vegetables mostly refers to a portion equal to one measuring cup for raw or cooked vegetables. For lettuce, spinach or other raw leafy vegetables however, two cups count as a cup. A medium carrot, celery stalk and small pepper each count as half a cup. If you don’t want to measure, an average adult fist is a rough guide to a 1-cup portion. So you can aim for one to two fist-size portions of vegetables at lunch and dinner each day. Read more… “Health Talk: How many vegetables should I be eating? What about my kids?”
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.
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.
In the meantime, here is what we know for certain:
Research shows a clear and convincing link between diets high in red meat and risk for colorectal cancer.
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.
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.