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Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life, adopt a physically active lifestyle, follow a healthful diet that emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods, and, if you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than one drink per day if you are a woman or two drinks per day if you are a man.

These are the four major recommendations put forth by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in its update to 2006 guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention. Health care providers may now receive outside help in promoting these messages to patients, as the latest version of American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention includes guidance for community action to accompany the four major recommendations that individuals can take to reduce their cancer risk.

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The ACS calls upon public, private, and community organizations to collaborate on policy and environmental changes that:

  • Increase access to affordable, nutritious foods in communities, the workplace, and schools

  • Reduce access to and marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages, particularly to children

  • Provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible environments for physical activity in schools and the workplace, and for transportation and recreation in communities.

The report, which is available 
on the ACS website (www.
002577-pdf.pdf), includes specific dietary and exercise recommendations, such as limiting consumption of processed meat and red meat and having adults engage in at least 150 minutes of 
moderate-intensity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week. The document also contains a review of evidence on diet and physical activity factors that affect risks for select cancers as well as a section on common questions about diet, physical activity, and cancer. ONA