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New global cancer prevention recommendations

18 / 09 / 18

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) have published their Third Expert Report on Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective. The report contains an updated list of 10 cancer prevention recommendations for informing public policy and individual choices.

Cancer prevention recommendations

Be a healthy weight.

Keep your weight within the healthy range and avoid weight gain in adult life.

Be physically active

Be physically activity as part of everyday life – walk more and sit less.

Eat a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and beans.

Make wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, and pulses (legumes) such as beans and lentils a major part of your usual daily diet.

Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars.

Limiting these foods helps control calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.

These foods include potato chips such as French fries and crisps (chips), products made from white flour such as bread, pasta and pizza, cakes, pastries, biscuits (cookies) and other bakery goods and confectionery (candy).

Limit consumption of red and processed meat.

Eat no more than moderate amounts of red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb. Eat little, if any, processed meat

Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.

Drink mostly water and unsweetened drinks.

NOTE: This is the first time this has appeared as a stand-alone recommendation.

While there is no direct evidence to link sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and cancer, the recommendation is aimed at reducing energy intake. There is strong evidence that regular consumption of SSB is a cause of weight gain, overweight and obesity, by increasing the risk of excess energy intake relative to expenditure.  

Limit alcohol consumption

For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol.

Do not use supplements for cancer prevention 

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

For mothers, breastfeed your baby, if you can.

Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby

After a cancer diagnosis, follow our recommendations, if you can. Check with your health professional about what is right for you.


You can find the summary report here

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