Eating low nutritional quality foods is linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, as reported by a study published recently in PLOS Medicine. Also, the research, led by Melanie Deschasaux of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and her co-workers suggests that the nutritional quality ratings could help people eat healthier.
However, helping people eating healthy food is challenging, the researchers say, but it is mandatory to lower the incidence of cancer linked to poor quality foods. In this regard, European authorities work on implementing a particular nutrition label system to show the nutritional quality of foods. The British Food Standards Agency already developed a similar system, the FSAm-NPS, which is currently used in France and recently endorsed by Belgian authorities, too.
But there were no studies to relate low nutritional quality foods with severe diseases like cancer, so the recent research is essential in this regard.
Low nutritional quality foods linked to cancer by a recent study
Melanie Deschasaux and her co-workers reviewed the data gathered from about 472,000 adults from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition during 1992 and 2014. Among the subjects, approximately 50,000 cancer cases were recorded, mostly breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The researchers attributed each participant’s diet an FSAm-NPS Dietary Index (DI) and computed how that links with the cancer cases registered.
The investigators revealed that low nutritional quality foods, depicted by higher FSAm-NPS ratings, are linked to cancer cases. Accordingly, the study also indicated that nutritional quality ratings are mandatory to help people eat healthy foods.
“This supports the relevance of the FSAm-NPS as underlying nutrient profiling system for front-of-pack nutrition labels, as well as for other public health nutritional measures,” the scientists concluded.
However, the research has only one limitation as the data gathered from the participants is based on self-reported dietary habits.