March 1, 2009

Study says diet, exercise reduces cancer

Healthy eating and exercise could reduce bowel and breast cancer cases by more than 40 percent in Britain, the World Cancer Research Fund says.

Beyond Britain, the research fund's study estimates about one-third of the most common cancers in affluent countries and a quarter in poorer countries could be prevented by improved diets and more physical activity, Health Insurance & Prevention reported Sunday.

The figures do not include smoking, which accounts for about a third of all cancer, the research fund said.

The study was produced by two independent teams of scientists examining how policy changes and interventions influence the behaviors that affect cancer risk. The study recommends that unhealthy foods should be removed from vending machines in work places and institutions to encourage better eating habits.

This report is relevant to everyone from heads of government to the people who do the weekly food shopping for their family, said Sir Michael Marmot, a member of the study team.