HealthDay News — The diet and physical activity guideline for the prevention of cancer has been updated by the American Cancer Society; the guideline was published online June 9 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Cheryl L. Rock, Ph.D., R.D., from the University of California at San Diego, and colleagues note that the new guideline was developed to reflect the most current scientific evidence related to dietary and activity patterns and cancer risk.

The guideline includes four recommendations for individuals, the first of which is achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight throughout life and avoiding weight gain in adult life. Secondly, the importance of physical activity is emphasized: Adults should engage in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, and exceeding the upper limit is optimal; sedentary activity should be limited. A healthy eating pattern should be followed at all ages, including eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and limiting or avoiding red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and highly processed foods. Alcohol is best avoided; those who choose to drink alcohol should limit their consumption to one drink per day for women and two for men. Public, private, and community organizations should work to increase access to affordable nutritious food, provide opportunities for physical activity, and limit alcohol.

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“The guideline continues to reflect the current science that dietary patterns, not specific foods, are important to reduce the risk of cancer and improve overall health,” Laura Makaroff, D.O., vice president of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.

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