More Fruity Friday winners!

Fruity Friday photo winner

First up, a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s ‘Go Bananas on Fruity Friday’ campaign!

The idea behind the campaign is simple: all you have to do is wear a yellow item of clothing, be it a wig, yellow T-shirt or even a banana costume, and make a donation to WCRF.

We also held a competition to send in your ‘Go Bananas on Fruity Friday’ photos.

The big winners are:

1st place: Paydens chemist, Rochester, Kent

2nd place: Decora Blind Systems Limited, Lisburn, County Antrim

3rd place: Stannah Lift Holdings Limited, Andover, Hampshire

Each of the winners won a luxury fruit basket courtesy of Dole Fresh UK. Paydens Chemist are pictured above and you can see our two runners up pictures on our Facebook fan page.

We love finding out about what you did to Go Bananas on Fruity Friday. So let us know about your event by sending your stories & photos to

Fruity Friday is our annual awareness and fundraising campaign to increase public awareness about the importance of a healthy diet for cancer prevention, and to raise valuable funds for our cancer research and education programmes.

If you missed the opportunity to take part this year, be sure to mark the 2011 Go Bananas date in your diary now – it will be taking place on Friday 13 May 2011.

Obesity and breast cancer media coverage

Newspapers: reporting cancer risk
Newspapers and cancer risk

You might have seen an article in the Metro today about a new study suggesting that overweight girls may be at lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

The cancer prevention Policy Report World Cancer Research Fund published last year made recommendations for the media and, to be fair, this article has at least put this study into context.

After all, it does get across the point that, looking at all the research, there is convincing evidence that being overweight increases risk of six types of cancer. And one of these types of cancer is breast cancer.

I am still concerned, though, about the potential cumulative effect of headlines of the “Fat girls are ‘less likely’ to get cancer” variety.

Think about how you read a newspaper. Often you will just read the first few paragraphs before moving onto the next story. And if that is the case, context is not going to be much help if it is all in the second half of the article.

With this in mind, it’s possible that someone just scanning the paper would have come away with the impression that scientists are saying that being overweight can actually help reduce cancer risk, even though there is now very strong evidence that the opposite is the case.

This has an effect.

The advice on how to reduce risk of cancer has not changed much in the last 10 years. But last year WCRF commissioned a YouGov survey that found over half of people thought scientists were always changing their minds about cancer risk.

This perception is perhaps not surprising considering all the apparently contradictory stories in the press. We read, for example, that being overweight both does and does not increase risk of cancer.  Or that drinking wine is both good and bad for our cancer risk.

I’m not saying that any of these articles are inaccurate, but looking at the situation overall, there is concern that media coverage of cancer isn’t doing a good job of raising awareness of how people can reduce their cancer risk.

The problem, I think, is not so much that people immediately believe everything they read in newspapers. The real issue is that people end up not trusting any of it .

And that means that sometimes the good advice – to eat a plant-based diet, to be physically active and to maintain a healthy weight – can be ignored along with the bad.

Getting married? Support WCRF with your wedding favours.

Wedding favours for cancer prevention

I really like this lovely idea. For any couples out there who are about to tie the knot, why not give your guests a meaningful keepsake with our unique charity wedding favours?

Ordering WCRF charity pin badges to use as wedding favours on your special day is a wonderful way to help WCRF prevent cancer.

By making a donation of £1.50 per guest you will receive a pin badge for each guest and complimentary table cards (15cm x 10.5cm, black font on white card) which explain to your guests how the money you have donated will help to fund vital cancer research and education programmes.

We can also create a personalised online celebration page, which you can use in place of a traditional gift list to ask guests for donations to WCRF in lieu of presents.

Healthy lunchboxes

Healthy lunches
Healthy lunches

There is an interesting article on the BBC website about how parents want more advice on how to prepare healthy school lunches.

At World Cancer Research Fund we have a page on our website with suggestions for how to make a healthy school lunchbox.

Also, last year we issued a press release urging parents not to put ham in their children’s lunchboxes, which was covered by the BBC, among others. According to a Food Standards Agency survey from 2003, ham was found in 27 per cent of lunchboxes.

Our recipe of the week: Wimbledon strawberry, mint and melon salad!

After a long day of tennis (or any physical activity for that matter), there is nothing quite as refreshing as fresh fruit. In the spirit of Wimbledon, we are featuring our strawberry, mint, and melon salad as our recipe of the week. Strawberries are a great source of vitamins C and B and contain potassium, iron, fibre and antioxidants. This year, instead of strawberries & cream and a glass of Pimms, why not try this easier-on-the-waist alternative?

Wimbledon strawberry, mint and melon salad

Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
Per serving:
Calories: 180kcal
Fat: 1g
Salt: 0.08g
5 A DAY: 2

Ingredients (serves 2)

8 strawberries
¼ Cantaloupe melon, chopped into 2.5 cm/1” pieces
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
150ml/5fl oz orange juice

1.             Place all the fruit in a large bowl and scatter the mint over the top.
2.             Add the fruit juice and mix so that all the fruit is covered. Chill in the fridge.
3.             Serve with half-fat crème fraîche or low-fat yoghurt.

It is simple, affordable, and, more importantly, delicious!

Play your way to better health

It’s that time of year again….yes, the Wimbledon tournament has started!

This summer get inspired by the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick and head to your local court. Research shows that by doing 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, you can reduce your chances of developing cancer.

Nearly a quarter of adults in the UK are obese, and it is predicted that this number will keep rising unless we make changes to our daily lifestyle choices, such as keeping active. Research has shown that maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. As well as reducing cancer risk in its own right, physical activity can also help us to maintain a healthy weight.

Take advantage of this nice weather, and get in shape for summer with a friendly game of tennis! It’s a game you can play at any age and to make things more interesting, why not get a group of your friends together and make a competition out of it? It’s surely a win/win situation.

WCRF supports National Breastfeeding Awareness Week

This week is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week and a great opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and to support mothers.

Scientists have found consistent evidence that breastfeeding protects against premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer. Based on this scientific evidence, one of our 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention is that women should aim to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months, and then continue with complementary breastfeeding after that. This is in line with advice from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.

Not only can breastfeeding help prevent breast cancer, it probably helps prevent excess weight gain in children too. Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of becoming overweight or obese later in life, which may help reduce their risk of cancer in adulthood. Research shows that babies who are breastfed are less likely to consume too many calories than babies who are fed infant formula.

It is now well known that obesity is a strong risk factor for many cancers, including those of the bowel and breast (in postmenopausal women).

Check out our A Closer Look At: Breastfeeding leaflet for more information.

Health Watchdog Publishes Guidelines to Reduce Heart Disease

A report published today by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) gives recommendations for the prevention of heart disease. The guidance is for government, the NHS, local authorities, industry and all those whose actions influence the population’s cardiovascular health.

Among other things, the report calls for a reduction in salt intake and saturated fat, as well as extending TV advertising scheduling restrictions on food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar up to 9pm. The report has been covered by the BBC Website and the Guardian as well as others.

Many of the recommendations of the NICE report are in line with the recommendations for cancer prevention published in our Policy Report last year. The overall message of our report is that all sections of society from governments to households should make public health, and cancer prevention in particular, a higher priority. The Policy Report estimated that about a third of cases of the most common cancers in the UK could have been prevented through healthy eatingphysical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

Today is WCRF’s Memorial Day

Today we at World Cancer Research Fund are remembering those who have lost their lives to cancer. At today’s rate, 1 in 3 people will develop cancer during their lifetime, of which 1 in 4 people will pass away from the disease.

The good news is that scientists now estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by following a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

This Memorial Day give the gift of flowers. Visit our online Wildflower meadow and dedicate a flower to a loved one lost to or affected by cancer. Your donation will fund vital research and education programmes that raise awareness about the practical choices people can make everyday to reduce their cancer risk.

Support our Wildflower memorial appeal.

This summer we are holding our memorial day on 21 June for all those who have lost loved ones to cancer.

To mark this special day we are giving our supporters the opportunity to buy a flower from our online Wildflower meadow and, in tribute, name the flower after a friend or family member lost to or affected by cancer.

By buying a flower you will be contributing to our vital cancer prevention work.

If you would prefer to make a telephone donation towards our Wildflower Appeal, please don’t hesitate to contact us on our FREEPHONE number 0800 970 1461 quoting the Wildflower Appeal. To purchase a flower in memory of someone special, just hover your cursor over a flower and if the flower is available you can then click on this to make a donation by completing the memorial details on the donation form. The flower will then be named after your loved one.