What you choose to put on your plate could determine whether or not you develop head and neck cancers, according to a study from the National Cancer Institute and AARP in Washington, D.C. Using the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index and the alternate Mediterranean Diet Score, the incidence of head and neck cancers in a group of 494,967 people was monitored over a nine year period. During that time, a total of 1,868 cancer cases were identified. Results showed that people who scored highest on the Healthy Eating Index had a 26% to 52% lower cancer risk, for men and women respectively. Men who most closely followed the alternate Mediterranean diet lowered their cancer risk by 20%, while women doing the same had a 58% lower risk compared to people in the lowest quartile for this diet plan. It appears from this study that people who eat healthfully might expect lower risks for developing head and/or neck cancers down the road.
Li W, Park Y, Wu J, et al: Index-based dietary patterns and risk of head and neck cancer in a large prospective study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014; January 8th.