Studies show that your life span and which diseases you may or may not incur during it is greatly affected by your diet. Which diseases are most affected by diet?

BBC news reports on which cancers are most affected by diet. The new study shows that more than four in ten cancers are instigated by your diet.

The study shows that if people led healthier lives then more than four in 10 cancers (600,000 in the UK alone) could be prevented.

What is the biggest risk factor? Smoking.

The second biggest issue is eating a healthy diet. Limiting alcohol intake and exercising regularly are also said to help one prevent cancers.

What did the results show?

The BBC explains, “A further 145,000 were linked to unhealthy diets containing too much processed food. Obesity contributed to 88,000 cases and alcohol to 62,200. Sun damage to the skin and physical inactivity were also contributing factors.”

There are numerous programs out to try to entice people to live a healthier life. Some of these programs include: Smoke free, Dry January and Change4Life Sugar Swaps (all of them aim to raise public awareness).

Professor Max Parkin, a Cancer Research UK statistician based at Queen Mary University of London commented on the study. He said,

“There's now little doubt that certain lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cancer risk, with research around the world all pointing to the same key risk factors. Of course everyone enjoys some extra treats during the Christmas holidays so we don't want to ban mince pies and wine but it's a good time to think about taking up some healthy habits for 2015.”

Experts who commented on the study also said leading a healthy lifestyle cannot guarantee someone will not get cancer. But they say that people can stack the odds in their favor by taking positive steps now, which will help decrease their cancer risk in the future.

Diet can also affect whether one develops diabetes. Reuters reports on the link between food and poor diabetes control.

People who do not have access to healthy food or who willfully do not eat healthy food have around a thirty-nine percent greater chance of developing/not being able to control their diabetes according to the study. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that around twenty-nine million Americans have diabetes today.

“Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and is often linked to obesity. In type 2 diabetes, the body's cells may be resistant to the hormone insulin, or the body may not make enough of the hormone. Insulin gives blood sugar access to the body's cells to be used as fuel,” according to Reuters.

How was the study conducted?

It lasted for a little over a year and had around one hundred participants. The researchers tracked each person’s eating habits and whether they had diabetes or developed it. The study also accounted for whether the participants could afford medicine and a healthier lifestyle. But most of the participants had insurance and half had uncontrolled diabetes.

“About 64 percent of those who reported an unstable food supply had uncontrolled diabetes, compared to about 42 percent of those with food security. While housing and energy insecurities were not tied to worse diabetes control, the study found that people with an overall greater number of insecurities had greater odds of being less in control of their diabetes,” according to Reuters.

Researchers found that people who were not controlling their diabetes well had a couple of different reasons; for some it was due to lack of financial means but for others it was simply a lack of control over their diet and lack of will to want to eat healthy.

Gerry Oginski
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