Obesity and Cancer

April 19, 2012

Weight gain puts the heart at risk, but until recently not very much research has been done linking obesity and cancer.  Now the largest study ever done shows a powerful link between being overweight and a variety of cancers -- in fact nearly all of them! Researchers tracked a million people over a span of several years and found that excess weight accounts for fourteen percent of cancer deaths in men and twenty percent in women.  In the United States that adds up to approximately 90 thousand extra cancer deaths per year! According to  the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, published earlier this year in the American Cancer Society journal, excess weight, not enough physical activity, and an unhealthy diet have been the second greatest preventable causes of disease and death in the United States for the past 30 years, following tobacco use. In the meantime, tobacco use has declined by a third by a third since the 1960s while obesity rates have doubled, underscoring the prominence of obesity as a public health issue. The American Cancer Society recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week! It's important to note that a limited number of observational studies have found decreased risks of breast cancer and colon cancer among people who have lost weight and more studies are underway. So put on your running shoes and and take the first step towards a healthy, long life!

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