Even those who are not overweight should slim down if they want to cut their risk of cancer, a major international study has claimed.
The World Cancer Research Fund carried out the largest ever inquiry into lifestyle and cancer, and issued several stark recommendations.
They include not gaining weight as an adult, avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol, and not eating bacon or ham.
Everyone must also aim to be as thin as possible without becoming underweight. People with a Body Mass Index (BMI), a calculation which takes into account height and weight, of between 18.5 and 25, are deemed to be within a "healthy" weight range. But the study says their risk increases as they head towards the 25 mark, and that everyone should try to be as close to the lower end as possible.
There is no new research involved in this document: the panel examined 7,000 existing studies over five years. The result, they say, is the most comprehensive investigation ever into the risks of certain lifestyle choices.
Limit red meat
Avoid bacon, ham, and other processed meats
No sugary drinks
No weight gain after 21
Do not take dietary supplements to cut cancer
They see body fat as a key factor in the development of cancer, estimating its significance to be much higher than previously thought.
The report's authors say they have produced a list of recommendations, not "commandments".
"But if people are interested in reducing their cancer risk, then following the recommendations is the way to do it," said Professor Martin Wiseman.
"Cancer is not a fate, it is a matter of risk, and you can adjust those risks by how you behave. It is very important that people feel that they are in control of what they do."
Source - BBC