Speak Up Now: Voice Your Interests for the New Dietary Guidelines

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Me giving oral testimony. Click for full video.

Earlier this week, 70+ people – representing interests such as meat, dairy, public health, sugar, vegetarian, spices and sustainability – gathered at the National Institutes of Health to weigh in on what the 2015 Dietary Guidelines should say to Americans about a healthy diet.

I had the opportunity to represent AICR and speak up for guidance that will help Americans more easily make choices to lower their cancer risk. Everyone had 3 minutes to speak directly to experts from USDA and Health and Human Services who will be writing the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans. You can watch the video here. The Dietary Guidelines (revised every 5 years) are key to how we move forward with dietary advice, and that also affects how food is produced and manufactured in the U.S. Continue reading


Three drinks a day can cause liver cancer, new report finds

An analysis of worldwide research on diet, weight, physical activity and liver cancer has found strong evidence that consuming approximately three or more alcoholic drinks a day causes liver cancer. Published today, the finding provides the clearest indication so far of how many drinks actually cause liver cancer.r-uauy

As a member of the independent panel of scientists that reviewed the worldwide research, this is a significant finding that I hope will help reduce the global number of cases of liver cancer. Currently, it’s the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, accounting for 746,000 deaths globally in 2012.

How alcohol causes liver cancer

Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can cause damage to the liver and lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening of the liver), which is known to increase the risk of this cancer. We know that 90-95% of liver cancer cases have underlying cirrhosis. Alcohol consumption is also carcinogenic to humans, has tumor-promoting effects, and is associated with increased body fat. The latter is a concern because obesity is a risk factor for accumulation of fat in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis and also increase liver cancer risk. Continue reading


Study: Using TV Cooking Shows May Link to Added Pounds

You’ve probably heard that cooking at home is an easy way to manage your weight and improve your health. But how much thought have you given to where you go to find new recipes? A study recently published in the journal Appetite found that, icanstockphoto10388793f you cook at home, using recipes and other information from TV cooking shows or social media sites may actually put you at risk of being a higher weight.

Recipes on cooking shows are often high in calories. The study used an online survey to ask 501 women ages 20-35 about their preferred sources of information about new foods, cooking habits, weight, and height.

A little over half the women said they cooked from scratch. Among both women who often cook from scratch and women who do not, getting food information from social media was associated with a higher BMI, a measure of body fat.

However, getting food information from TV cooking shows was only associated with a higher BMI among the home cooks and not among the women who rarely cooked. Among the cooking show fans, home cooks weighed 11 pounds more on average compared to non-cooks. Continue reading