Friday, February 04, 2011

"Healthy" lifestyle 'would prevent 79,000 cancers a year' (?)

The WCRF publicity machine hard at work again in the report below. Their "estimates" are based on an uncritical acceptance of epidemiological claims -- all of which become moot under close examination. The WCRF is just a donation-fed private club that needs to keep making scary announcements to get donations -- a lot like the SPLC

Almost 80,000 cancers could be prevented in Britain every year if everybody followed a healthy lifestyle, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has estimated.

Breast and bowel cases could be almost cut in half, with respective reductions of 42 and 43 per cent, the charity has calculated.

The changes would involve people taking regular exercise - such as walking for half an hour a day - maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet.

Studies have consistently found relatively few people recognise that taking such measures can cut the risk of a range of cancers.

Professor Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser for the WCRF, said: "It is distressing that even in 2011 people are dying unnecessarily from cancers that could be prevented through maintaining a healthy weight, diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors. "We still a have chance to avert a big increase in cancer cases in the UK, so we urge the public and the Government to make cancer prevention a public health priority."

The estimate that 79,000 cancers could be prevented nationwide, wase released to mark World Cancer Day.

Every year almost 300,000 cancers are diagnosed in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics. Cancers kill more than 150,000 people a year, making it the second biggest killer after heart disease.


Junk food companies told British Government wants to avoid 'intrusive' laws

The Health Secretary has told junk food manufacturers he wants to avoid "intrusive, restrictive and costly regulation". Andrew Lansley said to senior executives from companies including Mars and PepsiCo that ministers were not interested in "nannying" people about their food choices.

His comments come despite criticism of the Government’s decision to roll back spending on the Change4Life health campaign, in favour of getting commercial companies and charities to fill the gap. Cadbury, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, Nestle and PepsiCo have all been involved, alongside Britvic and supermarket giant Tesco.

At a public health debate held by The Grocer trade magazine on Wednesday, Mr Lansley said there had been an imbalance in health policy for years, with "big state dominating over big society". Now there needed to be a "wide range" of interventions to achieve improved health - regulation was just one option.

Mr Lansley said he would not be "scared" to use industry to achieve public health and commercial aims, because companies could reach consumers in a way ministers could not. He added: “Hopefully there will be no need for intrusive, restrictive and costly regulation.”

The Health Secretary also admitted he himself falls outside the healthy weight range. "I know that I'm overweight," he said. "I know that I should have a BMI of 25 and I'm a BMI of 28."

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "Mr Lansley's reassurance to junk food manufacturers beggars belief. "As Health Secretary, his duty is to reassure the public that the food we are asked to choose from is as healthy as it can be.”

Jacqui Schneider, of the Children’s Food Campaign, added: “There’s absolutely no evidence that industry – which has a vested interest – is able to bring about a change in people’s behaviour.”


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