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People unaware of diet-cancer links

A new survey claims nearly half of people are unaware of the link between a poor diet and an increased risk of cancer.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) poll found that 46% of people do not realise eating unhealthy food can increase the chances of getting the disease.

The figures come hot on the heels of data which showed a huge rise in so-called "lifestyle cancers" linked to smoking, excess alcohol consumption, obesity, and sun exposure.

The WCRF study found 53% of people are unaware that being overweight can up the risk of cancer, and only 33% know that keeping active can cut the chances of developing the disease.

And only 35% of Britons know that drinking alcohol can raise the risk of cancerous tumours.

Dr Greg Martin, science and research manager for WCRF, said: "It really is a shame that so many people are not aware enough about how they can reduce their cancer risk.

"The fact that diet, weight and physical activity are closely linked to cancer has been well known in the science community for many years.

"But unfortunately the message has not been getting through to the general public, and because people do not know the facts, many are dying unnecessarily."


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Related story: Lifestyle cancers show sharp rise