HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CARB? Diets high in carbohydrates may raise the risk of breast cancer, according to findings published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
In the study, conducted by U.S. and Mexican scientists, Mexican women who ate a lot of carbohydrates were more than twice as likely to get breast cancer as those who ate less starch and sugar.
The study is one of the few to examine how low-carb diets might influence the odds of getting cancer rather than how they affect cholesterol and heart disease. It's not known to what extent the findings would apply to American women, who get most of their carbohydrates from foods fortified with folate, which may reduce cancer risk.
The new findings also don't mean that it is safe or healthful to eat lots of meat, cheese or fats, as many people on low-carb diets do, experts say.
"There are many concerns with eating diets high in animal fat," said Walter Willett, chief of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and a study author. "If people do want to cut back on carbohydrates, it's really important to do it in a way that emphasizes healthy fats, like salads with salad dressings."
In the study, women who ate a lot of insoluble fiber -- found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables -- had somewhat less risk of breast cancer. Fiber can modulate carbohydrate absorption.
"It leads me to believe that healthier carb sources, or at least diets containing fiber, would be less strongly associated with breast cancer," said Marji McCullough, a senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.
AVOID OR COLLIDE? Swerving to avoid deer on the road results in nearly as many injuries as running into them, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An estimated 10,080 people in the United States are treated for nonfatal injuries each year from crashes that occur after a driver swerves or slows down to avoid large animals, according to the report, which compiled data from 66 emergency rooms. In comparison, about 12,245 Americans are treated for nonfatal injuries after their vehicles hit large animals.
An estimated 247,000 car accidents involving animals, usually deer, are reported each year in the United States. About 200 people die as a result.
SO NOTED "We're living in the middle of a witch hunt, and fat people are the witches. It's gotten markedly worse in the last few years because of the propaganda that fatness, a natural human characteristic, is somehow a form of disease."
-- Marilyn Wann of San Francisco, a member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance