One in eight people incorrectly thinks coffee causes cancer, a new poll suggests.
A major report in 2016 concluded that there was “no conclusive evidence” that coffee is carcinogenic.
But 12% of people still believe that drinking coffee can lead to cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund (WRCF) found.
A poll, conducted on 2,092 adults by YouGov on behalf of the charity, examined various lifestyle features and whether or not people believed they were linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Some 86% linked smoking to an increased risk of cancer while 60% said that being overweight could increase a person’s risk.
Just 47% think that being physically inactive is associated with an increased risk while 59% believed a poor diet can up the odds.
Almost three in five (59%) said alcohol can increase a person’s risk while 55% said processed meat could be a risk factor.
The WCRF said that around 40% of cancer cases could be prevented through factors including eating a healthy diet, keeping physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and being safe in the sun.
Dr Helen Croker, assistant director of research and policy at the WRCF, said: “These poll results show that many people aren’t aware of some of the steps they can take to help protect themselves from cancer.
“For example, it’s interesting to see that 12% of Brits believe that drinking coffee increases cancer risk, when in fact we have strong evidence that it reduces the risk of liver and womb cancers, and some evidence that drinking coffee could decrease the risk of other cancers including mouth and skin.
“For cancer prevention, there’s no reason for most people not to drink coffee, but for those who do, we recommend not adding sugar or other sweeteners and drinking it in moderation.”
– The WCRF launched its poll to highlight its free eight-week interactive programme Activ8 which gives people hints and tips on making healthier food and drink choices and being more active in different ways.