An apple a day, and other myths

Apr 27 2014, 01:55 IST
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The hypothesis that fatty foods are a direct cause of cancer has been crumbling The hypothesis that fatty foods are a direct cause of cancer has been crumbling
SummaryOf late, there has been a yawning divide between nutritional folklore and science on what causes cancer...

of a type called estrogen-negative. Cutting back on milk and other dairy products might possibly lower the risk of prostate cancer. As epidemiologists began to follow the health of younger populations, Willett hoped that more dietary influences would yet emerge.

That evening at a reception hosted by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, guests partook of a sumptuous buffet that included, among other fare, thick slabs of roast beef, a variety of rich cheeses and generous servings of wine. Afterward came the cancer research association’s grand celebration known for its dessert buffet.

The next morning, the scientists were back at the meeting, coffee in hand, rushing from session to session. Some might have paused to study a display in the convention dining area recognising the 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s report on smoking and cancer.

In countering this disease, the campaign against tobacco has been the closest thing to a triumph. But now that smoking is on the wane in the US, obesity is on the rise. Being fat (as opposed to eating fat), Willett proposed, may now be causing more fatal cancers than cigarettes.

George Johnson

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