This review of the epidemiological evidence for diet and physical activity and the risk of cancer primarily summarises the recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR). Recommendations include the topics of: body fatness, plant foods, animal foods, alcoholic drinks, dietary supplements, and physical activity. For each of these recommendations we review the level of evidence used to determine the final recommendations, discuss potential limitations of dietary and physical activity measures, and review the study designs that underpin the existing evidence base. In addition, we briefly describe the biological mechanisms underlying the hypotheses around diet and physical activity and cancer and finally we describe more recent research published since the release of the WCRF I AICR recommendations. There is "convincing" or "probable" evidence of the positive relationship between cancer and: body and abdominal fatness; alcohol; red and processed meats; and high-dose beta-carotene supplements. There is "convincing" or "probable" evidence of a protective effect of consumption of fruit and vegetables; calcium and selenium; and physical activity on cancer risk. Lifestyle modification has the potential to result in a substantial reduction in cancer incidence. If this potential is to be realised, policies and programmes that modify behavioural and environmental factors are required.
When Cancer Crosses Disciplines: A Physician's Handbook p. 49-78