Research news and views on preventing and surviving cancer
Author: Alice RD
Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.
In the past few weeks you may have seen news headlines about “nutrition research taking another hit.” At the center of those stories is Dr. Brian Wansink, a prominent food researcher from Cornell University. A university investigation found that he committed research misconduct, and now, over a dozen of his papers have been retracted by prestigious academic journals.
Most of his research is on how the food environment affects an individual’s eating behavior and food choices. For example, he reported that bigger plates correlate to eating more and that putting healthy choices like water, in front of all other beverages, led to more people choosing water more often. He did not conduct research looking at how diet impacts specific health outcomes, such as heart disease or cancer.
It is unfortunate that the recent retractions of Dr. Wansink’s research papers have led to headlines that challenge the broader validity of nutrition research. His research has no bearing on the link between diet and specific health outcomes, such as cancer. Organizations like AICR conduct systematic literature reviews and analyses of the highest quality research linking diet to cancer and other chronic diseases. Nutritional research is constantly evolving but assessments of the entirety of the available research provide the most reliable evidence on the relation between diet and cancer risk. Read more… “Wansink Debacle does not Undercut Nutrition and Cancer Link”
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that only about 23% of US adults meet federal recommendations for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. This means that more than 3 out of 4 adults are missing out on profound health benefits from activity and putting themselves at increased risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Most Americans are probably aware that a steady diet of foods like chicken nuggets, candy bars and sodas are not a path to health, yet their low cost and easy access mean these foods are becoming a regular part of many people’s diets in the US and around the world. AICR’s research shows that highly processed foods with added fats and sugars contribute to weight gain and having obesity, thus raising the risk for cancers such as colorectal, endometrial and post-menopausal breast. Now, a population study explores whether there is a direct association between eating these ultra-processed foods and cancer risk.