Whether You're Slim or Obese, Processed Foods Up Your Cancer Risk
While previous studies have linked obesity with a higher risk for 13 types of cancer, including kidney cancer, liver cancer, and pancreatic cancer, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona in Tucson suggests that high-density, processed foods can raise cancer risk in older women who are slim and physically fit. Results of the study indicate that nutrition quality plays a role in determining cancer risk.
For the study, researchers analyzed data on 90,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative. They used information from food frequency questionnaires to estimate participants’ energy intake and the diet quality to determine the impact of dietary energy density (DED) on cancer risk. Dietary energy density is a way to evaluate diet quality by measuring the ratio of calories – energy consumed – to nutrients provided by a particular food.
According to the researchers, a diet high in process foods – a high DED diet – increased obesity-related cancer risk in postmenopausal women of normal body weight by 10 percent. Results of the study were published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.