Unhealthy Snacks Tied to Colorectal Cancer

Junk food is bad for all of us, but if you are in a certain high risk group vulnerable to colorectal and others cancers, it may be even more imperative to avoid it.

A new study reported this week in the journal Cancer establishes a link between junk food consumption and a higher incidence of cancer in people diagnosed with Lynch syndrome. The syndrome is an inherited disorder known to cause genetic mutations that seem to increase the risk for colorectal, endometrial and other cancers at a relatively young age. Smoking and obesity are other known risk factors.

Researchers in the Netherlands tracked the eating habits of Lynch Syndrome sufferers for a period of 20 months. They found in high consumers of junk food–things such as fast food snacks, chips and fried snacks–had much higher rates of colon polyps, often considered a warning sign of colon

“We saw that Lynch syndrome patients who had an eating pattern with higher intakes of snack foods — like fast-food snacks, chips or fried snacks — were twice as likely to develop these polyps as Lynch syndrome patients having a pattern with lower intakes of snack foods,” study author Akke Botma, of the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said in a journal news release.

The take away: Diets plentiful in fruits and vegetables and unprocessed whole foods seem to be the most healthy choice for all of us.