Nav: Home

Policies encouraging healthy eating could greatly cut cancer-related costs

June 09, 2019

Baltimore (June 9, 2019) - The foods we eat can play an important role in preventing cancer. New modeling research presented at Nutrition 2019 shows that policies using taxes or warning labels to encourage healthier eating could reduce the number of people who develop cancer, which would bring significant savings in medical costs.

Nutrition 2019 is being held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Contact the media team for more information or to obtain a free press pass to attend the meeting.

Reducing obesity-related cancers

How will new added-sugar nutrition labeling affect cancer cases?
A new modeling study estimates that, based on changes in consumer behavior, the soon-to-be-implemented added-sugar labeling on all U.S. packaged foods could prevent 35,500 new obesity-related cancer cases and 16,700 cancer deaths over a lifetime in the U.S. The policy would also save an estimated $1.4 billion in direct medical costs. After taking into consideration additional savings from patient time and productivity loss as well as policy implementation costs from both the government and industry, the policy would save an estimated $0.5 billion in total costs from the society level. Industry reformulations would likely add to the prevented cancer cases and health care cost savings. Mengxi Du, Tufts University, will present this research on Tuesday, June 11, from 8:30 - 8:45 a.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Room 314/315 (abstract).

Would taxing sugar-sweetened beverages save health-care costs?
A new study estimates that a national tax of 1 cent per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverage could prevent around 17,000 new obesity-associated cancers cases and 10,000 cancer deaths. This modeling study estimates that this tax would save $2.4 billion in lifetime medical costs for 13 types of cancer. The largest health benefits were for endometrial, kidney and liver cancer. Christina Griecci, Tufts University, will present this research on Sunday, June 9, from 12:45 - 1:45 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Halls A-B (Poster 75) (abstract).

The costs of unhealthy eating

What is the cost of cancers associated with poor diet?
A new analysis reveals that over 5 years, cancers attributable to unhealthy eating among U.S. adults resulted in direct medical costs of $6.9 billion (2015 dollars). Nearly 70 percent of this cost is due to colorectal cancer attributable to poor diet. The calculations are based on the estimated number of cancers cases attributed to not eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy, and eating more processed meats, red meats and sugar-sweetened beverages. Given the substantial economic burden of diet-attributable cancers, nutritional policies may help reduce cancer cases and their associated costs. Jaya Khushalani, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will present this research on Monday, June 10, from 8:30 - 8:45 a.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center Room 317 (abstract).

Can we decrease cancer disparities?
Results from a new study suggest that policies targeting food price could help reduce cancer disparities among low-income participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Of the policies modeled, a 10 percent national tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meat together with a 30 percent SNAP-targeted food subsidy would produce the largest reduction in cancer disparities, with about 16 more cases averted per million SNAP users compared to higher-income individuals. The overall greatest decrease in cancer cases would result from a national 30 percent subsidy for fruits, vegetables and whole grains combined with a 10 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats, which would have eliminated an estimated 7,208 new cancer cases among US adults in 2015. Heesun Eom, Tufts University, will present this research on Sunday, June 9, from 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Halls A-B (Poster 230) (abstract).

Which policies would reduce processed meat consumption?
A new simulation study found that using an excise tax or warning label on processed meats could bring substantial health and economic benefits. The researchers found that over a lifetime a 10 percent excise tax could prevent 77,000 colorectal and 12,500 stomach cancer cases and generate a savings of $1.1 billion in health-care costs while warning labels may prevent 85,400 colorectal and 15,000 stomach cancer cases with a savings of $1.3 billion from health-care costs. Groups who benefited most from the policies were younger, had a higher cancer risk or ate the most processed meat prior to policy implementation. David D. Kim, Tufts Medical Center, will present this research on Monday, June 10, from 8:00 - 8:15 a.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Room 314/315 (abstract).
Image available.

This release may include updated numbers or data that differ from those in the abstract submitted to Nutrition 2019.

Please note that abstracts presented at Nutrition 2019 were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.

About Nutrition 2019

Nutrition 2019 is the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It is the national venue for more than 3,600 top researchers, practitioners and other professionals to announce exciting research findings and explore their implications for practice and policy. Scientific symposia address the latest advances in cellular and physiological nutrition and metabolism, clinical and translational nutrition, global and public health, population science, and food science and systems. #Nutrition2019

About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education.

Find more news briefs and tipsheets at:

American Society for Nutrition

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...