High Fiber Diet Lowers Cancer Risk

Emily Hoff

Article summary

"A Diet High in Fiber May Help Protect Against Breast Cancer" by Alison Aubrey, published 1 February 2016 on npr.com

Most Americans don't eat enough dietary fiber on a daily basis. However, the new information coming from Pediatrics may convince young females of the error in their ways. This study, published on 1 February 2016 concluded that “[E]ating lots of fiber-rich foods during high school years may significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer" (Aubrey, 2016). These results are from a long term study of 44,000 women who were asked about eating habits in adolescence. These women also filled out questionnaires about their dietary choices every 4 years after the study began. From this data, scientists were able to conclude that women who consumed high levels of dietary giber (28 grams per day average) had a 24% lower chance of developing breast cancer pre-menopause. For the ladies who ate a high fiber diet, their risk of developing cancer at any time (pre or post menopause) was cut by 16%. Researchers think this is related to a decrease in circulating estrogen levels, which have been linked to breast cancer previously. The high fiber diet is especially important in adolescence, as it is a period when risk factors appear to be very important. This study illuminates simply another benefit to high fiber diets throughout our lives. Not only is there evidence supporting how it prevents breast cancer, but it is already known to promote colon health and prevent diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

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Article critique

This article is published through NPR, which is a publicly funded, not-for-profit media organization. Because NPR is not being funded or supported by specific organization or company, I believe I can trust its non partial point of view. The credentials of this author also add to the credibility of this article. Allison Aubrey is a food and nutrition correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). She has won numerous awards for her work covering food, nutrition, and their impact on culture. Although Allison does not necessarily have the education to justify her credibility, her experience and the accolades she has support the credibility of the article she has written. She is impartial, with no affiliations to institutions/universities or companies outside of NPR. The article is expository in nature and is very straight forward. There is no obvious bias. It is written without emotion-rousing words or personal opinion. Additionally, this article was published within the same month of the publication of the scientific research it is based off of. It is recent, relevant, and not out dated by time. The article cites many credible resources, and also includes direct quotes from reliable sources in the field. These include Maryan Farvid, a fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, and Kimberly Blackwell, a breast cancer specialist from Duke Medical Center. Both of the “experts” the article cites are from different institutions, supporting the claim that this article is bipartisan and without bias.

However, this article is a secondary source, based off a publication in the Pediatrics journal. Ultimately, the most credible source about this information would be the Pediatrics journal itself, written by Maryam S. Farvid, A. Heather Eliassen, Eunyoung Cho, Xiaomei Liao, Wendy Y. Chen, Walter C. Willett, not Aubrey’s summary of the results.


Aubrey, A. (2016, February 1). A Diet High In Fiber May Help Protect Against Breast Cancer. Retrieved March 06, 2016, from http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/02/01/464854395/a-diet-high-in-fiber-may-help-protect-against-breast-cancer