This article questions the media frenzy around “Miracle Foods” that are alleged to reduce the risk of cancer.
Cancer is a disease that invokes fear, so it is not surprising that the public is eager to identify ways to decrease the risk. The media often features information on “Miracle Foods” and publicizes whether these foods can actually decrease the risk of cancer.
“Reality Check: There is No Such Thing as a Miracle Food,” published in Volume 65, Issue 2, 2013 of Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, is a commentary written by the University of Minnesota’s Maki Inoue-Choi, Sarah Oppeneer, and Kim Robien that calls on both researchers as well as media sources to consider the validity of multiple studies as opposed to singular studies before assuming that media information is factual.
“Nutritional scientists and epidemiologists should be cognizant of the public health messages that are taken away from their individual studies and not sensationalize the findings or contribute to the media frenzy around a single study,” the authors believe.
The authors mention two separate studies that theorize a decreased risk of ovarian cancer due to flavonoids in red onions and omega-3 in sea bass. Both of these studies were reported as fact on a popular television talk show. The authors assert that with further research, three other studies would have been found that can disprove the findings reported as true.
“The public needs more information about the effect of diet as a whole on cancer risk, as well as the importance of achieving and maintaining an ideal body weight, regular physical activity, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle,” the authors wrote.