The American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes 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 5 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 ACS 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. Community efforts are essential to create a social environment that promotes healthy food choices and physical activity. Therefore, this committee presents one key recommendation for community action to accompany the four recommendations for individual choices to reduce cancer risk. This recommendation for community action recognizes that a supportive social environment is indispensable if individuals at all levels of society are to have genuine opportunities to choose healthy behaviors. The ACS Guidelines are consistent with guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association for the prevention of coronary heart disease and diabetes, as well as for general health promotion, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services' 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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