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The 9 Most Popular Stories of 2012

News rack with papersThis past year saw a lot of innovative research, news, and healthful living strategies on the link between diet, weight and physical activity to cancer prevention and survivors. Of all the stories we highlighted, here are the nine most popular pieces that gained the most attention from our readers, in no particular order.

1. Tips for successful weight loss: Cut fat and up exercise

Close to half of obese dieters succeeded in losing at least five percent of their weight, at least for the short term, with the most common strategies linked to weight loss focusing on eating less fat and exercising, according to a study we highlighted in April, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Liquid diets, nonprescription diet pills, and popular diets had no association with successful weight loss.

We summed up the research on weight loss and strategies that work in a September eNews.

Nutrition Communication Manager Alice Bender offers evidence-based concrete strategies for weight loss on the AICR Blog.

2. More fiber may cut breast cancer risk
Research already shows that diets high in fiber reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. A major analysis of the literature that included almost one million women suggests that dietary fiber may also protect against breast cancer. The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund as part of AICR/WCRF's Continuous Update Project (CUP), an ongoing review of cancer prevention research. It builds on a 2007 and 2009 AICR/WCRF review of the literature, which concluded the evidence linking dietary fiber and breast cancer prevention was too limited or inconsistent to draw a conclusion.

Here, lead author Dagfinn Aune, a nutritional epidemiologist at Imperial College London who is part of the CUP team, talks about the findings.

3. Make time for break time
We know that physical activity reduces cancer risk. A growing body of research suggests moving throughout the day may also.

This infographic that focuses on inactivity is one of our most shared.

4. Hiding Your Vegetables to Up Intake, Cut Calories
Hiding veggies in your food is not just for kids. Back in 2011, we wrote about a study that suggests adults can significantly increase their daily vegetable consumption and decrease calorie intake by drawing on a strategy often used for children: hide veggies in their food.

According to the study, adults consumed approximately two additional servings of vegetables and 350 fewer calories per day when a variety of puréed vegetables were secretly incorporated into meals, regardless of whether the person disliked the added vegetable.

The article featured a Macaroni and Cheese recipe with hidden cauliflower, and that recipe continued to be one of our most popular this past year.
Here’s the Mac & Cheese recipe.

5. Evidence that vitamin D supplements prevent cancer still lacking
A new analysis on vitamin D confirmed earlier research in finding that there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether vitamin D supplements reduce cancer risk.

The review of research by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) also concluded that combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation may reduce fracture risk among some populations. The USPSTF review of the literature, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, came about a year after an extensive review of the vitamin D research by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

You can read more about the review in Cancer Research Update.

6. Your 3-Minute Office Workout
Short and non-sweaty, this video offers viewers a way to add some activity into your day job. 

Finding the time to reach your physical activity goals may seem daunting, but AICR enlisted exercise physiologist Mary Kennedy to show you a few quick workouts that you can work in to your day. These strength training, cardio-boosting workouts can be done in your office or at home for a quick mid-day pick-me-up. at the office

Watch the video and get ready to pull back your chair.

7. Soy is safe for breast cancer survivors
A new review of the research, published on the AICR Website, found that breast cancer patients and survivors need no longer worry about eating moderate amounts of soy foods. The review answers one of the most frequently asked questions relating to how diet may affect breast cancer risk, and led AICR to revise the materials for survivors.

You can read more about the soy-cancer link, as well as find nutrition information and cooking tips on AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer: Soy.

8. Beans: Nutrition Powerhouses on Your Plate

Maybe it’s that beans are cheap –many costing less than 20 cents per cup – or the research linking high-fiber foods to cancer prevention. Or maybe Americans are realizing just how delicious and versatile beans can be. Whatever the reason, our eNews article on beans was a big hit.

The article highlights how to cook with beans, the types, and features a video showing you some practical tips.

Read Worth a Hill of Beans: Nutrition Powerhouses on Your Plate.

9. Preventing both heart disease and cancer
Heart disease is the number one cause of death among cancer survivors. In our HealthTalk, AICR Nutrition Advisor Karen Collins answers a breast cancer survivor’s question about heart health.

As a survivor, should I focus my attention on heart healthy eating or a cancer preventive diet?

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