Staying physically active and eating a healthy diet filled with whole grains, fruits and vegetables not only help lower weight but could cut your risk for cancer, a new report finds.
The report from World Cancer Research Fund links 12 types of cancers to being overweight, including breast and colorectal cancer.
The report said as of 2016, an estimated 1.97 billion adults worldwide and more than 338 million children and teens were considered overweight or obese.
WCRF also revealed a series of updated recommendations to help people lower weight and decrease their cancer risk, including exercise, a healthy diet, limiting consumption of red or processed meats, and cutting back on fast food or other highly processed foods.
“It’s unlikely that there are ‘magic bullet’ specific foods or nutrients that in themselves cause or protect against cancer,” said Dr. Kate Allen, executive director of science and public affairs at WCRF International, in a blog post published Thursday. “Rather, different patterns of diet and physical activity combine to create a metabolic state that makes you more or less susceptible to cancer.”
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The ten other cancers cited are: endometrial; gallbladder; kidney; liver; mouth, pharynx and larynx; oesophageal; ovarian; pancreatic; prostrate; stomach.
The report also cites other risk factors such as drinking alcohol. Consuming two or more drinks daily can raise your risk for liver or esophageal cancers, but drinking up to two a day could lower your risk for cancer.
Meanwhile, for mothers, breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer in mothers, the report found.
Obesity may be one reason for a rise in colon and rectal cancer rates among younger and middle-aged people. Last year, researchers from the American Cancer Society found poor diets, inactivity and weight gain may play a role in the rise in rates of these cancers.