National Cancer Institute Home at the National Institutes of Health | www.cancer.gov

Publication Abstract

Authors: Krebs-Smith SM

Title: Progress in improving diet to reduce cancer risk.

Journal: Cancer 83(7):1425-32

Date: 1998 Oct 01

Abstract: BACKGROUND: In an effort to decrease cancer risk among the population, national health objectives for the year 2000 included recommendations to decrease intake of dietary fat and alcohol and increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and grains. The purpose of this article is to assess trends in the intake of these dietary components relative to the national health objectives. METHODS: National food supply data and food consumption survey data were reviewed for their appropriateness for monitoring intake trends. Recent data from both sources are described and interpreted. RESULTS: Americans have made modest but important improvements in their diets in recent years and may meet the "Healthy People 2000" dietary objectives aimed at decreasing cancer risk. Intake of fruits, vegetables, and grains are higher, and those of fat and alcohol are lower than they were at the beginning of the decade. These trends are consistent with recent improvements in mortality rates for those cancer sites with the strongest associations with diet: the colon/rectum, prostate, and breast. CONCLUSIONS: Although the average intake of fruits, vegetables, and grain products is higher, it should be noted that the objective represents the minimum recommendations. Within each of these major food groups, further improvements can be made. In addition, special efforts should be made to guide children toward improvements in their diets and to monitor the diets of children and other subgroups.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013