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Preventing cancer through life style choices

In 2001 the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) WCRF/AICR set themselves the task of systematically assessing all good research on diet, physical activity and cancer and publishing a report that would be the largest study of its kind with conclusions that would be best the evidence could demonstrate.  Over 100 scientists from 30 countries were involved.  An expert panel of 21 of these scientists worked for 5 years to produce the report "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective."  The follow-up companion Policy Report "Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention"  was published a little over a month ago and has recommendations for a series of different groups and organizations including government, industry, the media, schools, and work places

At the personal level, the key eight personal lifestyle recommendations of the original "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer" report are:

1.) Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight

2.) Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.

3.) Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (high in fats and/or added sugars and/or low in fibre) and avoid sugary drinks.

4.) Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and pulses such as beans.

5.) Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.

6.) If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women per day.

7.) Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).

8.) Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.

Special population recommendations - recommendations 9 and 10 don't apply to everyone, but if they are relevant to you, it's best to follow them:

9.) It's best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.

10.) After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

And always remember - do not smoke or chew tobacco.



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