Fat and Cancer

  • David Kritchevsky
  • David M. Klurfeld
Part of the Human Nutrition book series (HUNU, volume 7)


In 1982 a committee of the National Academy of Sciences published a review of the state of knowledge pertinent to nutrition or diet and cancer (Committee on Diet, Nutrition and Cancer, 1982). The committee adduced a significant role for fat in cancer development and suggested, among other guidelines, that Americans reduce their intake of fats by 25% or from 40% of total calories to 30%. The data reviewed in drawing these conclusions were primarily international correlations. The most thorough correlation study was that of Armstrong and Doll (1975), who studied incidences for 14 cancers in 32 countries and for 27 cancers in 23 countries. Among environmental variables they studied in addition to foods were gross national product (GNP), physician density, population density, and use of solid and liquid energy. They found positive associations between breast and colorectal cancers and total fat consumption. They also observed strong positive associations between GNP and cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, and uterus, but not the ovary. Incidence of stomach cancer was inversely correlated with GNP, meat, animal protein, and total fat. In their conclusion they stated, “. . . it is clear that these and other correlations should be taken only as suggestions for further research and not as evidence of causation or as bases for preventive action.”


Breast Cancer Rectal Cancer Breast Cancer Risk Caloric Restriction Essential Fatty Acid 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kritchevsky
    • 1
  • David M. Klurfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and BiologyPhiladelphiaUSA

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