Weighing the Evidence

In November 2007, AICR and the World Cancer Research Fund published Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, the most comprehensive report on diet and cancer ever completed.

The Report took six years to produce, and the process was transparent, objective and comprehensive. First, the global scientific literature was searched for relevant studies. Initial searches found some half a million studies, which were soon culled to 22,000. Ultimately, over 7,000 scientific studies were deemed relevant and met the report’s rigorous criteria.

These studies were independently reviewed, compiled and presented to an Expert Panelexternal site of  21 world-renowned scientists, who judged the accumulated evidence and developed 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

The panel judges the strength of the evidence linking different aspects of diet, physical activity and body weight to risk of specific cancer types.

Convincing
strong, consistent and unlikely to change in the future

Probable
compelling but not quite strong or consistent enough to be "convincing"

Limited Evidence – Suggestive
too limited for a grade of "probable", but a general consistency in the data

Limited Evidence – No Conclusion 
too inconsistent or insufficient for a definitive grade

Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely
enough evidence to rule out a connection

This work is being continued in the Continuous Update Project report.