Dietary fat and cancer

Lawrence Kushi, Edward Giovannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on current epidemiologic knowledge, public health recommendations to decrease total fat intake for the prevention of cancer appear largely unwarranted. Recommendations to decrease red meat intake, particularly processed meat or beef intake, may, on the other hand, decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and prostate cancer; it may have a beneficial effect on breast cancer as well, although the evidence is much less compelling in this regard. There appears to be no particular benefit regarding cancer prevention that would accrue from reducing fat intake from vegetable sources, and in the case of breast cancer, there is some suggestive but preliminary evidence that olive oil or other sources of monounsaturated fatty acids may modestly decrease risk. Overall, recommendations focused on controlling weight by regular physical activity and avoidance of excessive energy intake from all sources; increasing plant food intake; consuming a variety of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits; and decreasing red meat intake are likely to be more effective in decreasing risk of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer than decreasing total fat intake. This conclusion is consistent with current recommendations for cancer prevention as promulgated by the American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Volume113
Issue number9 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Dec 30 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary fat and cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Kushi, L., & Giovannucci, E. (2002). Dietary fat and cancer. American Journal of Medicine, 113(9 SUPPL. 2).