BOSTON (May 22, 2019, noon EDT)—A new modeling study estimates the number, proportion, and type of specific cancers associated with the under or overconsumption of foods and sugar-sweetened beverages among American adults. The analysis is one of the few to focus on the modifiable risk factors for cancer connected to food intake in the United States.
The study, published today in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, estimates that diet-related factors may account for 80,110 of the new invasive cancer cases reported in 2015, or 5.2 percent of that year’s total among U.S. adults. This is comparable to the cancer burden associated with alcohol, which is 4 to 6 percent. Excessive body weight, meanwhile, is associated with 7 to 8 percent of the cancer burden, and physical inactivity is associated with 2 to 3 percent.
“Our findings underscore the opportunity to reduce cancer burden and disparities in the United States by improving food intake,” said first and corresponding author Fang Fang Zhang, a cancer and nutrition researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.