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J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(3):100-2.

Preventing cancer: the role of food, nutrition and physical activity.

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World Cancer Research Fund International, London.


The recommendations of a major report on dietary aspects of cancer prevention are summarised and discussed. The findings of The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Second Expert Report Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective were published in 2007 and remain valid. The Report reviewed the relationship between food, nutrition, physical activity, body fatness and 17 cancer sites. The goal of the Report was to review all the relevant research, using precise and reproducible methodologies. An expert panel reviewed the evidence. Based upon evidence that was graded "convincing" or "probable", a series of 10 recommendations to reduce the risk of developing cancer was produced. One of the most important factors is maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, which can be achieved by regular physical activity and limiting consumption of energy-dense foods and sugary drinks. Other important dietary measures include consuming a diet high in plant-based foods, limiting intakes of red meat, and avoiding salty foods and processed meat. Alcohol should be consumed in modest amounts, if at all. Dietary supplements are not recommended for cancer prevention.

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