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UA reseachers find link between processed foods and cancer risk in some women

Posted at 1:00 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2018-01-02 12:53:12-05

We usually hear about the link between obesity and certain types of cancer. It is actually proven that overweight women are more at risk of cancer. "We know that 13 cancers are actually associated with obesity," said Dr. Tracy Crane, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

However, new research is suggesting otherwise and will make you want to change some of your eating habits.

Dr. Crane and a group of researchers at the University of Arizona have found a link a between processed foods and cancer risk in women who are not overweight. The study finds energy-dense foods,  those with a high concentration of calories per bite, such as high fat meats and dairy products, may increase cancer risk among women of normal weight. "They were at about a 10% risk of cancer, irregardless of their body weight," Dr. Crane said. 

The researchers used data for 90,000 postmenopausal women, including their diet and any diagnosis of cancer, from the Women's Health Initiative. According to Dr. Crane,the results are yet another reason why women should pay close attention to what they eat, "it's an opportunity to evaluate what you're doing with your diet," she added.

Dr. Crane recommends eating more vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains and reducing the amounts of high-fat cheeses and dressings, processed meats and snack foods. Ultimately, watch what you eat and exercise, Dr. Crane said.