Research on the causes of cancer and chronic diseases generally
focuses on adults, as they are much more likely than children
to suffer from cancer. Childhood diet and lifestyle factors
may significantly affect a person's risk for cancer later
in life, however.
A survey was carried out in rural Britain prior to World
War II among 5,000 children, assessing average weekly diets
and the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. More than
60 years later, researchers tracked down nearly 4,500 of these
children to determine their current health status, whether
they had developed cancer, and - if they had died - the cause
The more fruit the subjects ate as children, the less likely
they were to have any form of cancer later in life. Progressive
fruit intake led to progressive decreases in cancer risk,
with children who ate the most fruit 38% less likely to develop
cancer as adults than children who had eaten the least fruit.
Deaths from cancer also were clearly linked to eating less
fruit in childhood. Vegetable consumption did not appear to
reduce cancer risk, although the authors note that prior to
WWII, people commonly cooked vegetables for extended periods
of time, which we now know can greatly reduce the amount of
nutrients in them.
your children an edge against the fight against cancer later
in life by providing them with a healthy diet now. Feed them
plenty of fruits and vegetables, being careful to only lightly
cook them in order to preserve the nutrients within. Produce
contains not only vitamins and minerals, but also other antioxidants
that protect against free radical cell damage and can't be
obtained from a pill. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic
about other ways to keep your kids healthy, and check out
Maynard M, Gunnell D, et al. Fruit, vegetables, and antioxidants
in childhood and risk of adult cancer: The Boyd Orr cohort.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2003:57,