“Labeling and availability and the price of alcohol should all be on the agenda,” Stewart said, adding that so should taxation of sugar-sweetened drinks.
The report calls for efforts to reduce the amount of cola, lemonade and other drinks containing substantial amounts of added sugar to become “a high priority.”
Stewart said that obesity is a greater risk for diabetes than cancer, but awareness of cancer is so great in communities that the cancer risk is likely to put more pressure on politicians to act.
For example, about half of Britons do not recognize the importance of diet in protecting them against cancer, according to a poll carried out by the World Cancer Research Fund. Eating a lot of red meat — especially processed prodcuts — increases the risk of bowel cancer.
Eating fruit and vegetables may protect against some forms of cancer, although the report said it “does not appear to be as strongly protective against cancer as initially believed.”
However, IARC said it is definitely protective against diabetes and heart disease.
The survey also found that 59 percent of people did not know that putting on weight increased cancer risk.
Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among men (16.7 percent of cases) and the biggest killer (23.6 percent of deaths), the IARC report said.
Breast cancer is the most common diagnosis in women at 25.2 percent and caused 14.7 percent of deaths, which is a drop in the ocean and now only just exceeds lung cancer deaths in women, which account for 13.8 percent of deaths. Bowel, prostate and stomach cancer are the other most common diagnoses among women.