Does following lifestyle recommendations reduce the risk of colorectal cancer?

From: BMJ

Journal rating:
rating: 99%
Study Quality:
rating: 55%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 35%
rating: 75%


  • 55,487 men and women aged 50-64 years not previously diagnosed with cancer


  • The recorded level of colorectal cancer in relation to points achieved in the lifestyle index questionnaire (based on physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet (dietary fibre, energy percentage from fat, red and processed meat, and fruits and vegetables))


  • It was clear that following the public health recommendations on smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, waist circumference, and diet, there was a substantially lower risk of colorectal cancer.
  • 23% of the cases reviewed might be attributable to a lack of adherence to the five lifestyle recommendations


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • The international recommendations were from the World Health Organization, World Cancer Research Fund, and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations.
  • Participants scored one point for each of the following recommendations they met at baseline: not smoking, physically active at least 30 minutes a day or had a job with light manual activity (such as postal delivery) or heavy manual activity (such as forestry), alcohol intake 7 drinks/week for women and 14 drinks/week for men, waist circumference
  • The fifth lifestyle factor, diet, was based on a dietary index including four dietary recommendations: 600 g fruit and vegetables a day, 500 g of red and processed meat a week, 3 g dietary fibre per MJ of dietary energy, and 30% of the total energy from fat, to reflect a healthy dietary pattern. Study participants who followed all four dietary recommendations received one point for the dietary factor in the lifestyle index.