Study: Some carbs as bad as smoking

Sophia Amati

Article Summary

The author of this article is Carina Storrs. It was published on March 10, 2016 at and is Copyrighted by CNN NewSource.

Without so much as touching a cigarette, it was found that frequent carbohydrate eaters have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than many other individuals. However, not all carbs increase the risk of cancer development, only those with a high glycemic index (ones that raise blood sugar) including white bread, rice and potatoes. This particular study, conducted of 2,000 people in the Houston area, showed that certain individuals recently diagnosed with lung cancer ate foods with a high glycemic index who, surprisingly, have only smoked 100 cigarettes or less in their lives- some not even smoking at all. It was found that 49% of these individuals were more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer if their diets contained numerous amounts of foods containing a high glycemic index.

Although the researchers are unsure of why there is a connection between high glycemic index foods and lung cancer, they believe it is due to the fact that these foods cause blood sugar to rise rapidly, stimulating the secretion of insulin. "Insulin could, in turn, increase factors in the body that tell cells, including potentially cancerous cells, to ramp up their growth" ("Study: Some carbs as bad as cigarettes for lung cancer," 2016). They have also come to the conclusion that a reduction in certain carbohydrates can help control the progression of many other cancers. The article was concluded by stating that although the consumption of high glycemic foods are a risk factor in the development of cancer, confirmation is needed from multiple studies in order for the research to be conclusive while smoking continues to be the most dangerous risk factor.

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Article Critique

The author of this article, Carina Storrs, is a college graduate who received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Florida, her Doctor of Philosophy at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and her Master of Arts, Journalism, Science, Health and Environmental Reporting at New York University. She has been an Editorial Intern at many different news outlets since 2008 including, the Scientific American website, and Popular Science magazine. She is now a freelance writer, focusing most of her journalism on science and health. These various facts make Carina Storrs seem like a very credible author, due to her education, experience, research and general interest in health related topics.

The website where this article is copyrighted, CNN Newsource, states that their website is the "industry's most powerful newsgathering resource." They also claim to be The United States' largest news service with local TV stations, newspapers and radio stations to websites and even mobile apps.

In my opinion, this article was very well written. It was easy to read and had a nice flow that presented all of the information and research in a logical and practical manner. The article was based on evidence that was found in a research study in Texas, through various data interpretation and participant questionnaires. The researchers came to their conclusion of a link between high glycemic foods and lung cancer by asking questions about diet, smoking habits and the diagnosis of lung cancer. They did not entirely rely on scientific evidence, just a relationship that they believe increases the likelihood of the development of this particular type of cancer. Although what the author and researchers state about foods with a high glycemic index raising insulin levels is true, there is little to no actual scientific evidence linking the relation of these foods to lung cancer. Just because they found this relationship in a study, does not make it conclusive. One scientist even states towards the end that the consumption of high glycemic foods may possibly be a risk factor, but much more research is needed.

It is recommended that 45-65% of daily kcalories come from carbohydrates in order to "provide adequate energy and nutrients and reduce the risk of chronic disease" (DeBruyne, 2014, p.10). This being said, it is important to warn individuals to not completely eliminate carbohydrates from their diets, but advise them on which ones to eat and which to avoid.

Works Cited

CNN Newsource. (n.d.). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from

DeBruyne, L. K., & Pinna, K. (2014). Nutrition for Health and Health Care (Fifth ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Storrs, C. (n.d.). Carina Storrs [PDF].

Storrs, C. (2016, March 10). Study: Some carbs as bad as cigarettes for lung cancer. Retrieved April 06, 2016, from