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American Cancer Society warns against excess weight & obesity

January 21, 2012
Reinbeck Courier

The numbers are not good. Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese. Approximately one-third of the more than 500,000 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2012 are attributed to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, being overweight and obesity.

Being overweight and obesity are clearly associated with increased risk for developing many cancers, including cancer of the breast (post-menopausal), colon, endometrium, esophagus and kidney. Observational studies show that obesity also increases the risk for cancers of the pancreas, gallbladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix and for multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma and aggressive prostate cancer. The link between body weight and cancer risk is believed to stem from multiple effects on fat and sugar metabolism, immune function, level of hormones (including insulin and estradiol) and cell growth.

"Most people don't realize the correlation between diet and obesity and your chances of getting cancer," said Dr. Richard Deming, former Chair for the American Cancer Society Iowa Leadership Council and member of the American Cancer Society Midwest Board of Directors. "45% of all colorectal cancers, 38% of breast cancers and 36% of lung cancers are related to diet and obesity."

Evidence suggests that a diet low in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and high in red and processed meats can increase the risk of several of the most common cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and limited consumption of processed and red meats and alcohol. The American Cancer Society also recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 or more days/week; 45-60 minutes is preferable. There is growing evidence that losing weight may reduce the risk of cancer.

With many people making new resolutions to lose weight or increase physical activity, the American Cancer Society is here to help. A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and putting your health first. Learn how the American Cancer Society can help you stay well by visiting or calling 1-800-227-2345. Women can also visit the website designed especially for them.



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