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Obesity, alcohol and processed food linked to stomach cancer

Research 9 Aug 2016
Stomach cancer links 600 400

Being overweight, eating processed meat and drinking too much alcohol are three factors that increase the risk of developing stomach cancer, according to a new study published by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund.

The systematic review of 89 global studies found that being overweight or obese was linked with cancer, in particular cancer of the upper stomach. The study also found that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks every day increased the risk of stomach cancer. In addition, processed meats were also linked to stomach cancer; with every 50 grams (equivalent to one hot dog) of processed meats consumed per day, every day the risk of lower stomach cancer increased by 18%.

Jean Hailes dietitian Anna Waldron says choosing healthy foods and being more active can help lower the risk of developing many types of cancer, including stomach cancer.

"Have a think about what you normally eat and how much alcohol you are consuming to identify the best changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing cancer as well as other chronic diseases," says Anna.

"Consuming more fruit and vegetables and less processed foods, including processed meats, is very beneficial and will help you to increase your fibre intake as well as reduce sugar, salt and saturated fat.

"If you regularly drink alcohol, aim to keep within the guidelines of no more than two standard drinks a day."

Read more about healthy living and the importance of a healthy diet.