Researchers find proof of high-risk cancer diets

Science has discovered the low-nutrition foods most likely to lead to tumours.

junk food is unhealthy

It is getting harder to figure out what we can eat to stay healthy. As if the regular alerts about the risks of gluten, palm oil, sugar and even sewing needles in our food were not enough to make us nervous, now comes strong evidence about a cancer-causing diet.

We all know that eating too much junk food will likely lead to obesity and possibly diabetes … but now researchers have linked poor nutritional meals with higher rates of cancer.

Out of Europe has emerged a study of nearly half a million people and their diets using a food labelling system called Nutri-Score, which measures levels of calories, sugar, saturated fatty acids, sodium, fibre, proteins, fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts in different items. The findings showed that a total score reflecting a lower-nutritional-quality diet was linked to a higher risk of contracting cancer.

CNN reported: “Cancer rates among those with the highest junk food scores were 81.4 cases per 10,000 person years (separately, the rate for men was 115.9 and for women, 66.6), versus 69.5 cases per 10,000 person years (89.6 for men and 61.1 for women) among those with the lowest junk food scores.

“People who ate the most junk food showed a higher risk of colorectal, respiratory tract (lips, mouth, tongue, nose, throat, vocal cords and part of the esophagus and windpipe), and stomach cancers. Separately, men showed a higher risk of lung cancer, and women showed a higher risk of liver and postmenopausal breast cancers.”

In order to make the results as precise as possible, the researchers adjusted the measurements to account for participants who were over-weight, didn’t exercise, smoked, drank alcohol, had a family history of cancer and even had a low level of education.

“The adjusted result allowed the researchers to conclude that a lower inherent nutritional quality of the food consumed was associated to a higher risk of developing a cancer,” the report said.

The study spanned from 1992 to 2014, was run in 10 countries and recorded 50,000 incidents of cancer – 10 per cent of all participants. The tumours were mainly found in the breast (12,063),  prostate (6745) and colon-rectum (5806). The researchers concluded that their findings supported the use of labelling to identify foods of poor nutritional quality, such as Nutri-Score.

Would you pay attention to food labels that flagged poor nutritional value? Does the Nutri-Score system sound like a ‘nanny-state’ ploy?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    20th Sep 2018
    I have had my mother and a close, lifelong friend both die from cancer and I have researched the reasons why the people who have the world's longest living culture did not suffer from the many forms of this disease.

    Interestingly, they also didn't know the myriad of the diseases of nutrition, from obesity, diabetes, hypertension, gout, cardiovascular disease, dementia etc. They were able to live into their 70s and 80s and still retain encyclopaedic memory function. All 600 language clans were polyglots speaking up to 5 or more languages that were as different as French, English, Russian and Chinese. Even their energy expenditure promoted circulation and this contributed to optimum cellular health.

    The protective qualities of their wild foods are now being discovered and the evidence is becoming clear: Wild foods are unparalleled sources of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, anti-mutagens, anti-carcinogens, anti-proliferatives, apoptotics, anti-allergens, adaptogens, enzymes and enzyme regulators, organic acids, good sugars, bioavailable minerals and more. These also supported a healthy microbiome some of which converted organic acids to anti-carcinogens as well.

    Modern foods are rubbish in comparison so perhaps the human mistake some 10,000 years ago of embracing agriculture is the ultimate cause of cancer, social infections (flu to VD) and other diseases.

    We can alleviate many cancers though by seeking out wild and near wild foods and once again, heal ourselves through better plant-based nutrition.

    My own motivation is to avoid the cancers that have taken my family members (and the dementia which grabbed my other parent). I am also an experiment myself in living to more than 100 years but not fanatic over the process. For these reasons I formulated a wild food mix which has been made available directly or via naturopaths and used to improve health and wellbeing in hundreds of individuals. I cannot legally make claims as it is a food product. However, the science is unchallengeable and our repeat orders vouch for its efficacy.

    Australian wild foods supported the world's longest living culture for over 65,000 years.
    Olga Galacho
    20th Sep 2018
    Hi Vic: Olga here. Your comment is interesting. I take it you are referring to the wild diet of Australia's Indigenous people?
    20th Sep 2018
    As it is not possible for us to go back to wild food, the best option is to grow our own food, eating fresh from the garden gives you optimum nutrition. My research also points to wholefood low fat plant-based diet.
    20th Sep 2018
    This is neither surprising nor new information. It simply adds more weight to what we already know making it harder to ignore the evidence.

    Evidence from the so called 'Blue Zones' round the world showed decades ago that communities sticking to remarkably similar high plant food, moderate protein diets coupled with high levels of physical activity were healthier and lived longer with fewer incidents of the so called 'lifestyle' diseases (CVD, diabetes, obesity, cancers etc) than communities eating the Standard American Diet (SAD).

    If people actually did what they know they should be doing i.e. focussing on whole fresh foods there is no need to have a PhD in label reading! Trouble is, most people just don't want to give up the crap and then expect the health system to bail them out when it all comes home to roost.
    20th Sep 2018
    Exactly KSS, people are still making up excuses to continue eating low nutritional food and low fibre because they are addicted just like the food manufacturers planned.
    20th Sep 2018
    Yep KSS, you're pretty much in the running for stating the bleedin obvious, it's just that - 'there's none so blind as them that cannot see', in this case the crap food junkies. Like us, you've also probably seen em falling (or driving) over each other to make it to their local Muccas for opening time. Jeevers H chryst, a lot of em don't even bother to get outa their cars (either too much for their pride or too much effort) and take the 'drive thru' instead.

    You're also spot on re their expectations of our strained health system although my take would link them more with the little pig's story than chickens that come home to roost.

    Good health !
    20th Sep 2018
    This is not new to me, Dr.T. Colin Campbell knew this decades ago. He has proven many times that cancer cells will multiply if you feed it protein from an animal source but not plant-protein, and not talking about processed plant-proteins either, just lots of wholefood, fresh, low fat, high fibre vegies and fruit. His books are full of interesting read if you care to read up on his life long studies.
    People are just addicted to junk, over-processed low fibre food, and meat, dairy and eggs. None of which gives you the nutrients or fibre you need. Switching to fresh wholefood, plant-based diets will give you all you need, and also don't believe the hype of needing B12 and Iron from meat, we only need 2.4mcg of B12 per day (equivalent to a speck of dust), so 1000 mcg capsule is enough for 416 days. Iron can be found in many plant foods, and when taken with Vitamin C will be absorbed easily. Too much iron and protein can actually be detrimental to your health. So go ahead eat more plants and give yourself a better chance of living healthier and longer without disease.
    23rd Sep 2018
    Try to get food packaging giants to agree with something like a simple rating of nutrition.

    Alternatively we could go back to eating natural foods, but how far do we want to go and how much time do we want to put into it. Fast food is locked into fast lifestyle and taste. There is healthy food already out there but who will buy it.?

    In the natural world, pain had to be tolerated and if a person got sick they died unless the gods decided otherwise. I don't want to go there.
    23rd Sep 2018
    I buy healthy food only. Fast food is a myth, it takes longer for me to go and get fast food and wait for it to be prepared than it is to whip something up. It is just pure laziness to eat fast food.
    21st Feb 2020
    I wsouldn't want to eat Fast Food often but I see nothing wrong with having it occasionally, I am in my early 80's.
    21st Feb 2020
    Family history and where you live also have a part to play in who gets what disease.

    Tags: health, diet, cancer

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