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Alcohol strongly linked to Cancer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Millions of people are at risk of getting cancer unless they slash levels of alcohol and red meat in their diets, a report from the World Cancer Research Fund has revealed.

The study, an in-depth analysis of 7,000 cancer studies since the 1960s, strongly links obesity, diet and physical activity to the chances of developing cancer.

The WCRF recommends that current guidelines on the intake of alcohol and red meat should be nearly halved while people should try to be at the slimmer end of the recommended weight limits in order to lower their risk of developing the disease.

Other suggestions for a healthier lifestyle include taking more exercise, eating more whole foods, virtually cutting out alcohol, consuming less red meat and not to eat bacon or ham.

Alcohol consumption is clearly linked with several cancers including breast so should be avoided, the study said, but the advice is in conflict with recommendations from the British Heart Foundation which found that moderate drinking can protect against heart disease.

The WCRF recommends that alcohol should be limited to one unit a day for women and two for men, half the current safe recommended limits issued by the Department of Health.

A panel of 21 world experts who spent five years evaluating what increases the risk of cancer compiled the study and what decreased it.