Diet-Cancer Link Viewed

Times Staff Writer

The exact role that diet plays in cancer prevention is a subject unlikely to be resolved soon. A science newsletter prepared primarily for journalists recently compiled a sampling of recent stories on the link between food and the onset of cancer in order to demonstrate the prevalence of numerous contrasting theories.

An example of the articles that advocate dietary change to reduce the risk of cancer is found in American Health. The article states that researchers have made more progress in linking cancer with certain diets than they have in connecting heart disease with a particular eating pattern.

" . . . no one has ever found any evidence against a low-fat diet high in vegetables and fruit. Some studies show a decrease in cancer from such a diet, and others show no decrease--but none has shown an increase . ... ," American Health stated.

Taking the other side of the controversy is an article in Science 84, which does not advocate any radical changes in consumption.

" . . . do things in moderation at present. There are some potential risks from large unbalanced doses of some substances," the magazine reports.

Then there is an entirely different approach being advocated by a group called the Cancer Control Society with headquarters in Los Angeles. The group recently distributed a list of recommendations for preventing cancer. The advice was on the back side of a reprint from an article in the National Enquirer on the same subject.

Some of the Cancer Control Society's recommendations:

--Don't use eggs produced by hens in small cages.

--Don't drink coffee or if you do, then drink no more than two cups a day.

--Don't buy junk foods in a supermarket.

The group did not say where those concerned about their diets should purchase the so-called junk foods.

Attention PSA--The nation's airlines are sometimes torn between whether the flying public wants sophisticated service or plain-wrap travel. A commuter airline on the heavily traveled Eastern corridor has opted for the more prestigious route in terms of its beverage selections.

New York Air has initiated a program that will decidedly upgrade its cocktail service. The airline offers all passengers a selection of six varietal wines on each flight. Best of all, those opting for wine receive a free six-ounce glass of vino along with a food tray that includes fruit, cheese, breads and crackers. The wine list is changed each month, according to a report in Restaurant & Institutions magazine.

Passengers make their selection from a list that is placed in seat pockets before each flight and includes a fairly extensive background on the wines available. New York Air services the Boston-New York-Washington route, and its planners felt the wine program would appeal to its mostly executive clientele, the magazine reports.

Fine Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons are frequently offered in first class by a number of airlines, but coach and economy passengers are relegated to the screw-top variety.

The New York Air program apparently is the first of its kind. However, Ozark Air is also offering a wine cellar on some of its flights, but its attendants are pouring only a four-ounce glass.

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