Scientists discover link between fatty foods and breast cancer

July 21, 2003

Brussels, 18 Jul 2003

Researchers have found evidence of a link between breast cancer and high fat intake.

The majority of population studies to date have failed to find a link between breast cancer and fat levels, but scientists found that by using food diaries to record information about fat intake, a link emerged

Over 13,000 women from Norfolk in the UK were asked to keep food diaries, as part of the European prospective investigation of cancer (EPIC) initiative - a Europe wide study on diet and health. The diaries revealed that the chances of developing breast cancer were twice as high for women who had eaten more than 90 grams of fat per day compared with those who had eaten less then 40 grams of fat per day.

Dr Sheila Bingham, who led the research, believes that the study provides an accurate picture of eating habits and a credible link between too much fatty food and increased risks of breast cancer. 'The effect seems to be related particularly to saturated fat food mostly in high fat milk, butter, meat [...] biscuits and cakes.'

The EPIC is the largest study of diet and health ever undertaken. It involves over half a million people in ten countries. By studying many people in different countries with differing diets, using carefully designed and tested methods, EPIC is expected to produce much more specific information about the effects of diet on long-term health than previous studies.

For more information about EPIC, please visit:
http://www.srl.cam.ac.uk/epic/

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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