A poor diet has been linked to a higher risk of cancer, according to a new study published in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum.
In 2015, around 80,110 new cancer cases among adults, aged 20 and older, in the United States were linked to a poor diet, researchers found.
"This is equivalent to about 5.2% of all invasive cancer cases newly diagnosed among US adults in 2015," first author of the study and a nutrition and cancer epidemiologist at Tufts University in Boston, Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, said.
"This proportion is comparable to the proportion of cancer burden attributable to alcohol," she noted.
"Low whole-grain consumption was associated with the largest cancer burden in the US, followed by low dairy intake, high processed-meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red-meat intake and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages," Zhang explained, pointing out that a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and a high intake of processed meats, red meats and sugary beverages were examined.
"Previous studies provide strong evidence that a high consumption of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer and a low consumption of whole grains decreases the risk of colorectal cancer. However, our study quantified the number and proportion of new cancer cases that are attributable to poor diet at the national level,” Zhang stated.
The study indicated that colon and rectal cancers were the most types of cancer resulting from a poor diet, at 38.3%.
“Diet is among the few modifiable risk factors for cancer prevention. These findings underscore the needs for reducing cancer burden and disparities in the US by improving the intake of key food groups and nutrients,” Zhang stressed.
It is concluded also that Ultraprocessed foods must be avoided, while consuming organic foods lowers the risk of developing cancer.