Dietary factors account for a large proportion of human cancers, particularly overnutrition that results in weight gain and obesity. The evidence linking diet and cancer has been developing since the early 1900s, beginning with early laboratory studies and ecologic studies of cancer rates in different parts of the world. More modern epidemiologic methods, including case-control studies, cohort studies, and randomized controlled trials have helped define in detail the associations between specific dietary factors and cancer. Factors with strong links to an increased risk of various cancers include: overnutrition/obesity, alcohol, red meat, and salt. Factors with strong links to a decreased risk include: fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and folate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Nutrition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123848857
ISBN (Print)9780123750839
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Alcohol
  • Analytical studies
  • Calcium
  • Cancer
  • Diet
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention
  • Red meat
  • Vitamin D
  • Weight


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