'Shed pounds to avoid cancer'

People must start shedding pounds and maintaining a healthy, lean weight if the public wants to prevent cancer, say a consortium of world experts.

This is one of a barrage of lifestyle recommendations made by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

For the WCRF report, researchers at the organisation studied 7,000 articles published since the 1960s on the links between cancer and diet, physical activity and weight.

Maintaining a healthy BMI of 18.5-25, preferably at the lower end of the scale, throughout adulthood was the primary recommendation made by a panel of 21 experts.

Other recommendations included being physically active in everyday life, eating processed meats and red meats sparingly, avoiding energy-dense food and drinks, eating more fruit and vegetables and limiting salt and alcohol intake. The WCRF also advised against nutritional supplements, saying people should aim to get all their dietary needs from meals.

To protect mother and baby, the WCRF report recommends breast-feeding for at least six months.
Deputy CMO for England Dr Fiona Adshead, who is responsible for delivering the government obesity target, said the DoH will be examining the report, which was developed alongside the WHO and Unicef.

But Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, criticised government efforts to tackle obesity so far.

‘We have been disappointed with the government's response to the problem of obesity,’ she said. ‘Money has been diverted from delivering earlier commitments on obesity and there has been a lack of co-ordination across government departments.’


Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Practice nurse with patient

Patient safety fears as one in three practice nurses near retirement

General practice is facing a nurse retirement timebomb, with more than a third of...

A&E entrance

Hospitals warn of rising flu admissions and A&E pressures

Hospitals in England have warned that the number of patients being admitted for flu...

Woman on a phone call while using a computer

How the GMC's updated Good Medical Practice applies in real life

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein looks at how the GMC’s updated guidance would...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Where next for the GP contract, plus Labour’s plan for neighbourhood health centres

Talking General Practice looks at what the BMA's might be looking to achieve in negotiations...


More than 2,000 GP practices switch to registering patients online

More than 2,000 GP practices have signed up to accept patient registrations via an...

Police car

One in eight GPs forced to call police over abusive patients

One in eight GPs have had to call the police to handle an abusive patient in the...