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Work Under Way


What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and risk of certain types of cancer?

Approach to Answering the Question
Update to Existing NESR Systematic Review

Dietary Patterns Subcommittee

Systematic Review Protocol
Developed for each scientific question being examined, the protocol describes the plan for how the systematic review was conducted. The protocol provides the:

  • Analytic framework,
  • Literature search and screening plan, and
  • Literature search and screening results.

See the full protocol for the question, what is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and risk of certain types of cancer? 

View Full Protocol

Draft Conclusion Statement

The draft conclusion statements listed below describe the state of the science related to the specific question examined. Draft conclusions are not considered final until they have been deliberated with and decided upon by the full Committee and published in the Committee’s final advisory report. Individual conclusion statements should not be interpreted as dietary guidance or the Committee’s overarching advice to the Departments.

Dietary Patterns: Breast Cancer

Moderate evidence indicates that dietary patterns rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and lower in animal products and refined carbohydrate, are associated with reduced risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. The data regarding these dietary patterns and pre-menopausal breast cancer risk point in the same direction, but the evidence is limited as fewer studies include pre-menopausal breast cancer. Grade: Moderate - Postmenopausal breast cancer risk, Limited – Premenopausal breast cancer risk

Dietary Patterns: Colorectal Cancer

Moderate evidence suggests dietary patterns higher in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, and low-fat dairy; and low in red and processed meats, saturated fat and sodas and sweets relative to other dietary patterns are associated with lower risk of colon and rectal cancer. Moderate evidence also suggests dietary patterns that are higher in red and processed meats, French fries and potatoes, and sources of sugars (e.g., sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets and dessert foods) are associated with a greater colon and rectal cancer risk. Grade: Moderate 

Dietary Patterns: Lung Cancer

Limited evidence suggests that dietary patterns containing more frequent servings of vegetables, fruits, seafood, grains and cereals, legumes and lean vs. higher fat meats and lower fat or non-fat dairy products may be associated with lower risk of lung cancer, primarily among former smokers and current smokers. Grade: Limited

Dietary Patterns: Prostate Cancer

Limited evidence suggests no relationship between dietary patterns and risk of prostate cancer. Grade: Limited