Poor diets of sugary drinks, processed meat and sodium could lead to a higher risk of cancer, a new study has found.
“Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake,” Fang Fang Zhang, the author of the study, said.
Researchers looked at seven different categories of food, and found low intake of whole grains and dairy, followed by low vegetable and fruit intake, high red meat intake, and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages were found to have the highest association with cancers.
Colon and rectal cancers accounted for the highest per cent of all cancers attributable to a bad diet (38.3 percent), while 25.9 per cent of the cases were cancer of the mouth, pharynx and larynx and 16 per cent were attributed to obesity.
Other cancers associated with poor diet included stomach, uterus, kidney, liver and breast cancer.
Meanwhile, it comes after a previous study found that poor diets are actually claiming more lives globally each year than cigarettes. In fact, one in five deaths in 2017, equating to 11 million deaths, was the result of an unhealthy diet.
Researchers from the University of Washington said these deaths could be reduced if people introduced more whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds to their diets in place of trans fats, sugars and high levels of red and processed meats. The study, published in The Lancet, tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.
“This study affirms what many have thought for several years – that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world,” study author Dr Christopher Murray said in a statement.
“While sodium, sugar, and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables.”
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