What We Googled in 2014 on Food, Drinks and Cancer

Here at AICR, we’re well versed in the latest scientific evidence on food, drink, and cancer prevention. We also know that a lot of people get their health information online, where it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. So what were we searching for this year, when it comes to cancer and foods and drinks? We used the 2014 Google Trends to find out.19024481_s

Alcohol and cancer
This was the most popular search term involving cancer and a specific food or drink, for good reason. The latest research has found that alcohol increases the risk of some cancers, including breast and colorectal. Based on the evidence, AICR recommends that if you do drink alcohol, limit your drinks to 1 per day for women or 2 per day for men.

Coffee and cancer
Coffee had a lot of people searching this year and the news is good for coffee drinkers. While scientists early on used to think coffee increased risk for certain cancers, research now shows a lack of association or even a beneficial effect for cancer risk. In 2013, our latest report on endometrial cancer found that drinking coffee – whether decaf or regular – is associated with a lower risk of this cancer. We’ll drink to that! Continue reading


Trends in Cancer Prevention Research

Like last year, I created a Google Spreadsheet to query raw publication counts from PubMed of food/nutrition/health terms from an AICR/WCRF report. This is a way to visualize how nutrition and cancer research may be changing over time. The counts represent the number of published articles containing the term in column A plus “cancer” in the title or abstract.

Like last year, I used the following color scheme from the AICR report: the coloring reflects the strongest confidence for an association between the term and a decreased or increased risk for at least one cancer type. Terms with a yellow background were not in the document list and added by me.

The spreadsheet is sorted by column D: the percentage of papers published in 2013 compared to 2012. This will still change as PubMed will be indexing papers published in 2013 for some time, but the spreadsheet auto-updates daily so it will become more accurate over time. Column M shows the average publication count change per year over the last 6 years (2008 to 2013), which may better reflect the recent trend. Continue reading


The Latest Trend: Fewer Beverage Calories But Still A Soda per Day

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.canstockphoto13083076

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