Wellness guidelines from the American Cancer Society have recently been revised. The American Cancer Society has updated its guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention, with adjustments to reflect the most current evidence. The updated recommendations increase recommended levels of physical activity and have an increased emphasis on reducing the consumption of processed and red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed foods, and alcohol.

ACS cancer prevention recommendations are revised regularly as evidence emerges. They are created by a volunteer committee comprising a diverse group of experts from multiple sectors. The committee reviewed the evidence on diet and physical activity on cancer risk, and studied policy and systems changes that can reduce barriers to the public’s ability to eat a healthy diet and a have physically active lifestyle.

New Physical Activity Wellness Guidelines

Physical Activity

Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.

Adults should engage in 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week; achieving or exceeding the upper limit of 300 minutes is optimal.

New Dietary Wellness Guidelines

According to Laura Makaroff, DO, American Cancer Society senior vice president, Prevention and Early Detection:

• The guideline continues to reflect the current science that dietary patterns, not specific foods, are important to reduce the risk of cancer and improve overall health.
• There is no one food or even food group that is adequate to achieve a significant reduction in cancer risk.
• Current and evolving scientific evidence supports a shift away from a nutrient-centric approach to a more holistic concept of dietary patterns.
• People eat whole foods –not nutrients—and evidence continues to suggest that it is healthy dietary patterns that are associated with reduced risk for cancer, especially colorectal and breast cancer.


Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.
• Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
• Limit consumption of processed meat and red meat.
• Eat at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
• Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.

Follow a healthy eating pattern at all ages. A healthy eating pattern includes:
• Foods that are high in nutrients in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight;
• A variety of vegetables—dark green, red, and orange, fiber-rich legumes (beans and peas), and others;
• Fruits, especially whole fruits with a variety of colors; and
• Whole grains.

A healthy eating pattern limits or does not include:
• Red and processed meats;
• Sugar-sweetened beverages; or
• Highly processed foods and refined grain products.


If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption. Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.

It is best not to drink alcohol. People who do choose to drink alcohol should limit their consumption to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

Click here for revised Wellness Guidelines from the American Cancer Society