ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention
This document is a condensed version of the article describing the American Cancer Society (ACS) Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines, which are updated about every 5 years. The guidelines were developed by the American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. The full article (including references), which is written for health care professionals, is published in the January/February 2012 issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and is available for free online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.20140/full
For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are body weight, diet, and physical activity. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.
Although our genes influence our risk of cancer, most of the difference in cancer risk between people is due to factors that are not inherited. Avoiding tobacco products, staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, and eating a healthy diet may greatly reduce a person's lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. These same behaviors are also linked with a lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Although these healthy choices can be made by each of us, they may be helped or slowed by the social, physical, economic, and regulatory environment in which we live. Community efforts are needed to create an environment that makes it easier for us to make healthy choices when it comes to diet and physical activity.