In May 2019 researchers from the USA published the results of their assessment of the annual number of cancer diagnoses due to a poor diet. A comparative risk assessment model was used incorporating nationally representative data on dietary intake, cancer incidence and estimated associations of diet with cancer risk in US adults, aged 20 years or older. Results showed that an estimated 80,110 (76,316 – 83,657) new diagnoses of cancer annually were due to a poor diet. This accounted for 5.2% of all new cancer diagnoses in 2015. Of these, 67,488 were were directly associated with a poor diet whilst 12,589 were associated with obesity. Colorectal cancer was seen to have the highest number of diet-related cancer diagnoses (52,225). A low consumption of whole grains was associated with 27,763 diagnoses of cancer and a low consumption of dairy products with 17,692 diagnoses. A high intake of processed meats was estimated to be associated with 14,524 diagnoses. Middle-aged men (45-64 years) and racial/ethnic minorities (non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and others) appeared to have the highest proportion of diet-associated cancer diagnoses.
Zhang FF et al. Preventable Cancer Burden Associated With Poor Diet in the United States. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2019 May 22;3(2):pkz034.