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Lose weight to cut cancer risk

1st November 2007

A major international study has warned people to slim down to cut their risk of cancer.

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The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) carried out the largest ever inquiry - examining 7,000 existing studies over five years - into lifestyle and cancer and came up with a series of recommendations.

These included slimming down, avoiding sugary drinks and limiting alcohol intake, exercising every day, breast feeding babies, limiting red meat and not eating bacon, ham and other processed meats at all.

People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 to 25, are deemed within a ‚Äúhealthy‚Ä? weight range but the WCRF study warns the risk increases as they head towards a BMI of 25.

The document says body fat as a key factor in the development of cancer, particularly cancer of the colon and breast, estimating its significance to be much higher than previously thought.

One of the report authors Professor Martin Wiseman said: “Cancer is not a fate, it is a matter of risk, and you can adjust those risks by how you behave. It is very important that people feel that they are in control of what they do."

But he said more than three million of the 10 million cases of cancer diagnosed globally each year could be prevented if the recommendations were followed. The UK sees 200,000 new cases of cancer each year.

However, cancer specialist Professor Karol Sikora said: ‚ÄúThe educational message for the public should be that there are healthy diets and unhealthy diets but we should keep everything in perspective.‚Ä?

 

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