Here’s How Many US Cancer Cases Are Tied to Unhealthy Diets

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Here’s How Many US Cancer Cases Are Tied to Unhealthy Diets

More than 80,000 cancer cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. may be tied to an unhealthy diet, according to a new study.

More than 80,000 cancer cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. may be tied to an unhealthy diet, according to a new study.

The study researchers used a mathematical model to estimate the number of U.S. cancer cases tied to suboptimal intake of seven dietary components known to be related to cancer risk. These included diets low in whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables; and diets high in processed meats, red meats and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Based on data from 2015, among U.S. adults, an estimated 80,110 new cancer cases, or about 5 percent of total cancer cases diagnosed that year, were tied to a poor diet. That’s on par with the percentage of cancer cases tied to alcohol consumption, which accounts for about 4 to 6 percent of yearly cancer cases, the authors wrote in their study, published today (May 22) in the journal JNCI Cancer Spectrum.

“Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake,” study lead author Fang Fang Zhang, a cancer and nutrition researcher at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said in a statement.

The researchers looked at data from two national surveys on Americans’ diets and, using a computer model, linked this with reported U.S. cancer cases in 2015. The model also included data from the World Cancer Research Fund on the link between diet and cancer.

Read on: Here's How Many US Cancer Cases Are Tied to Unhealthy Diets

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