LONDON, October 31 /PRNewswire/ --

- Panel Also Implicates Red Meat, Processed Meat and Alcohol

The evidence that excess body fat increases the risk of cancer is stronger now than ever before, according to a landmark report issued today by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Evidence linking consumption of alcohol, red meat and processed meat to increased risk is also convincing.

The WCRF/AICR report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, is the most comprehensive ever published on the evidence linking cancer risk to diet, physical activity and weight. The result of a five-year process involving nine independent teams of scientists from around the world, hundreds of peer reviewers, and 21 international experts who reviewed and analyzed over 7,000 large-scale studies, the report includes 10 recommendations for cancer prevention. Launch events occurred today in Beijing, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, London and Washington, DC. The report is online at http://www.dietandcancerreport.org.

Body Fat Convincingly Linked to Six Cancers

Finding that the evidence is now convincing that carrying excess body fat increases risk for cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, colon, kidney and endometrium as well as post-menopausal breast cancer, the report recommends that people aim to stay within the healthy weight range (18.5 to 25) on the BMI chart throughout adult life. It further recommends staying as lean as possible within that range.

This recommendation is more stringent than WCRF/AICR -- and most other organizations -- have previously issued on weight and reflects the stronger evidence that has emerged over the last few years.

Panel Urges Limits on Red Meat

The new assessment finds the evidence linking red meat (beef, pork, lamb and goat) to colorectal cancer is more convincing than it was a decade ago. Accordingly, WCRF/AICR's expert panel recommends limiting consumption of red meat to 18 ounces (cooked) per week.

The recommendation concerning processed meats is even more rigorous. Based on convincing evidence, the panel recommends avoiding processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and lunchmeat.

Alcohol Consumption Linked to Cancer

The WCRF/AICR expert panel found the evidence convincing that alcoholic drinks are linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, as well as colorectal cancer in men and pre-and post-menopausal cancer in women.

Recommendations for Cancer Prevention 1. Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight. 2. Be physically active as part of everyday life. 3. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks. 4. Eat mostly foods of plant origin. 5. Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat. 6. Limit alcoholic drinks. 7. Limit consumption of salt. Avoid moldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes). 8. Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone. Special Population Recommendations 9. Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed. 10. Cancer survivors to follow the recommendations for cancer prevention. And always remember - do not smoke or chew tobacco. Web site: http://www.aicr.org http://www.dietandcancerreport.org

Richard Evans of WCRF UK, +44-7789-760094, r.evans@wcrf.org