Well, it sure got people’s attention, we’ll say that for sure. But is it accurate?
Last week a blog post from an organization called the Institute for Natural Healing picked up on one of the 10 AICR/WCRF Recommendations for the Prevention of Cancer first published back in 2007. That blog post has since gone viral (it’s been shared tens of thousands of times across many different social media platforms), and has attracted the attention of the news media, who have now approached us for comment.
Neither AICR nor our international partners, the World Cancer Research Fund, have any connection to the Institute for Natural Healing, whose website sells “natural” dietary supplements to treat conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease to male potency. (AICR/WCRF’s report and continuous updates have found that when it comes to cancer, it’s better to rely on whole diets, not dietary supplements, to reduce your risk.)
Last week’s INH blog post specifically spotlighted the AICR/WCRF recommendation to avoid processed meat (a category which includes hot dogs, sausage, bacon and cold cuts — for more information, see the AICR Blog post “What is Processed Meat, Anyway?”). That recommendation, at least, is real. It is the conclusion of an independent panel of leading scientists convened by AICR/WCRF who, following the largest, most comprehensive review of international research ever undertaken, judged the evidence that processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer to be convincing. This review was published in 2007 and was subsequently confirmed in 2011. Continue reading
Americans of all ages are sipping fewer calories from sugary sodas, energy drinks and other sweet beverages compared to over a decade ago, but we are still drinking the equivalent of about a can of soda per day on average, according to a new study.
Those calories — about 150 of them — are important for cancer prevention because AICR’s expert report and its updates found that sugary drinks lead to weight gain. And excess body fat links to increased risk of seven cancers.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Study researchers used data from approximately 51,000 kids, teens and adults that made up a representative sample of the US population. In a large government study, participants reported everything they drank (and ate) during a 24-hour period.
When the researchers looked at sugary beverage consumption between 1999 and 2010, they found a drop in the amount of calories both youths and adults were drinking. The 2 to 19 year olds were drinking on average 155 calories per day, which is 68 fewer calories than in the 1999-2000 survey. Adults were consuming an average of 151 calories each day, a drop of 45 calories compared to twelve years earlier. Continue reading
Cancer research often makes splashy headlines, especially if the study appears to contradict conventional wisdom or seems to offer a potential cure. If you don’t read past the headlines, you may think that scientists are finding cures but doctors aren’t staying up to date.
But while these studies may have a role in how we understand causes and treatment of cancer, no single study by itself can be used for practicing evidence-based care. Health professionals have to go beyond the headlines and put the research in context before it becomes part of evidence-based practice. The question they ask is: Is this study really a game changer or simply another piece of data to add to the overall body of evidence?
Your doctors, nurses, dietitians and other health care providers don’t always have the time to sort through all the research and decide by themselves how to apply all the new studies to their practice. Continue reading