It is known that eating a healthy diet is very important to our mental and physical health.
On the contrary, eating a poor diet can bring many health risks, and one of them is cancer.
In a new study, researchers found that in the U.S., a poor diet plays a big role in several types of cancer.
The research was conducted by a team from Tufts University.
In the study, the team analyzed data from two recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles (2013-2014 and 2015-2016).
They found that a poor diet may account for 80,110 of the new invasive cancer cases reported in the U.S. in 2015 (5.2%).
The cancer burden linked to alcohol is about 4%. Obesity is linked to 7%-8% of the cancer burden, and a sedentary lifestyle is linked to 2%-3%.
Among all the cancers, a poor diet contributes to colon cancer most, with 38% of all cancer cases in 2015 linked to unhealthy diets.
This was followed by cancer of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx.
The team also found that low whole grain intake was linked to the largest number and proportion of new cancer cases.
This was followed by low dairy intake, high processed meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red meat intake, and high intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.
In addition, unhealthy diets could lead to obesity, which could play a big role in cancer development, too.
Middle-aged men (45-64 years) had the highest proportion of diet-associated cancer burden.
The findings suggest that poor diets can lead to big health burden in the U.S. People should eat healthy foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, to reduce cancer risk.
People also need to cut their intake of processed meat, red meat, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
The lead author of the study is Fang Fang Zhang, cancer and nutrition researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.
The study is published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.
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