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USA Today reports that new studies suggest that healthier diets have not been proven to help ward off various forms of cancer, despite scientific hopes that such a connection could be proven.

According to the paper, “Scientists long have been intrigued that people in developing countries, who tend to eat more plant foods and fish, have lower cancer rates than those in countries whose diets are dominated by fats and red meat.” But reliable studies “have dashed hopes for a variety of proposed anti-cancer strategies: reducing fat to prevent breast cancer, increasing fiber to ward off colon tumors and filling up on fruits and vegetables to avoid cancer in general.”

Walter Willett, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, tells USA Today that it may be less important what kinds of food one eats than how much. “A number of studies strongly show that people who burn more calories than they consume are less likely to develop cancer, Willett says. Evidence strongly links obesity to colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, liver cancer and others. Though eating vegetables may not reduce a cancer patient's risk of death, losing even a few pounds may benefit people with certain tumor types, Willett says.”

Scientists, however, continue to hold out hope that some sort of food link can be found to cancer prevention. USA Today writes, “Researchers continue to study nutritional factors that may increase the risks of cancer, such as high intake of dairy products and low intake of folic acid, calcium, vitamin D and lycopene, which is found in tomatoes.”
KC's View:
Reading these kinds of stories, we are reminded of what screenwriter William Goldman (“Butch Cassidy”) once said about Hollywood, and which seems to be applicable to much of life in general:

“Nobody knows anything.”