The American Cancer Society (ACS) has set aggressive challenge goals for the nation to decrease cancer incidence and mortality—and to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors—by the year 2015.
To address these critical goals, the ACS publishes the Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines to serve as a foundation for its communication, policy, and community strategies and ultimately, to affect dietary and physical activity patterns among Americans.
These guidelines, published every five years, are developed by a national panel of experts in cancer research, prevention, epidemiology, public health, and policy, and as such, they represent the most current scientific evidence related to dietary and activity patterns and cancer risk.
The American Cancer Society guidelines include recommendations for individual choices regarding diet and physical activity patterns, but those choices occur within a community context that either facilitates or interferes with healthy behaviors. Therefore, this committee presents one key recommendation for community action to accompany the four recommendations for individual choices for nutrition and physical activity to reduce cancer risk. This recommendation for community action underscores just how important community measures are to the support of healthy behaviors by means of increasing access to healthful food choices and opportunities to be physically active.
The ACS guidelines are consistent with guidelines from the American Heart Association for the prevention of coronary heart disease as well as for general health promotion, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services' 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.1,2