Sweet Snacks And Fast Food Linked To Bowel Cancer

For all you lovers of fast foods and sweet snacks, I have some more bad news.

You may already know that junk food has been identified as the reason that one third of adults in the U.S. are obese and has been linked to childhood asthma and Alzheimer’s.

Now, a new study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, reveals that consuming too much sugar and fat could increase your chances of colorectal cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers at Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities, who found that those who ate the most ‘high-energy snack foods’, such as fast food, desserts, chocolates, cookies, cakes, sweets, nuts and chips, were 18 percent more likely to have developed bowel cancer than those who ate the least.

According to the BBC, these findings held true even when obesity and lack of exercise, factors already known to raise the risk of bowel cancer, were taken into account. They also confirmed that the link between these foods and bowel cancer was high even after other factors such as smoking habits and family history of cancers were considered.

Bowel cancer and colorectal cancer are generally used interchangeably and refer to cancer that begins in the large intestine. It may also be referred to as colon or rectal cancer, depending on the part of the intestine that it affects. An estimated 50,830 people in the U.S. will die of colon and rectal cancers in 2013. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20.

That makes this cancer second only to lung cancer; the estimated number of deaths from lung cancer for 2013 is 159,480.

So this is an important study.

Researchers at the two universities asked more than 2,000 men and women with bowel cancer to fill in a lengthy questionnaire about what their diets were like before diagnosis.

Another group of around 3,000 volunteers of a similar age and from similar areas also answered the questions, covering around 170 different foods.

From the BBC:

Those studies identified two distinct eating patterns. One was high in fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods and the other – known as the western pattern – was high in meat, fat and sugar.

The healthy dietary pattern was found to be associated with a decreased colorectal cancer risk, while the western dietary pattern was found to be associated with an increased risk.

Dr Evropi Theodoratou, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, said: “What we have found is very interesting and it merits further investigation using large population studies.”

Happily for us caffeine-lovers, the study also found drinking lots of coffee could have a protective effect.

Some people will undoubtedly assert that such a small study cannot possibly have any validity.

Mike Lean, professor of nutrition at Glasgow University, agrees, pointing out that the numbers could have been influenced by the cancer patients placing more emphasis on foods they believed to be bad for them.

From The Daily Mail:

He added: ‘We can’t yet start saying that this science shows that these foods cause bowel cancer.
But we are fairly sure that eating more fruit and vegetables and taking more exercise can prevent cancer.’

Avoiding processed foods, and maintaining a balanced diet, is the best way to go.

Photo Credit: thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago


Juanita Frapp
Juanita Frapp4 years ago

Thanks for sharing healthy note. Nowadays generally most of them are following a healthy diet fresh fruits, vegetables and natural protein etc. On the other side now days most of them people are addicted to junk food and it’s available at cheap price. People who wanted to live along life they need to change their life style and must and should follow diet. And everyone needs to do regular exercise. I really appreciate this blog this is going to be one of my favorite. Thank you

roseann s.
rose s4 years ago

processed food is DEAD FOOD

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck4 years ago


Geoff P.
Past Member 4 years ago

You can find a study to prove any point of view you want.

Cynthia F.
Cyn F4 years ago

I am for cutting down on processed foods and sugar. Thanks for sharing, Judy!

Bill C.
Bill C4 years ago

98% of all convicted felons at a bread / cake product within 48 hr of the crime. it comtained sugar.

You can make anything criminal or horrific, eat with common sense and moderation

12 lb of steamed Kale eaten at one sitting will hurt like hell too

Catherine O Neill

Here's where good old common sense comes in. Eating a lot of sweets & fast food lead to obesity. Which causes many ailments.

Daisay Rose
Daisay Rose4 years ago

All these foods not only to lead to bowel cancer bur also lead to weight issues. It is very hard to avoid fast food because most people like to have fast food. By reading this type blogs some people may change their dietary habits. Thanks for letting the the people aware of fast foods.