Stay lean to avoid cancer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keep track of many health-related statistics. They recently noted that heart disease rates in the U.S are in a steady decline, in part due to new medications that help control blood pressure and high cholesterol, and treatments such as stents, angioplasty, and coronary bypass surgery. But cancer rates continue to rise, and cancer may actually surpass heart disease as the number one cause of death in this country.
An international research team has linked body weight to eight more types of cancer. They have found that if a person is obese, there may be increased risk for these cancers:
- Meningioma, a type of brain tumor
- Multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer
Worldwide obesity rates continue to be on the rise. There are 640 million adults and 110 million children who are obese. One-third of adults and kids in U.S. are obese.
We already know that there is a link between excess body weight and cancers of the colon, esophagus, kidney, breast and uterus. The higher the body weight, the greater the cancer risk.
Weight loss is not easy, but even maintaining excess weight and not letting it get higher can help reduce cancer risk.
The researchers think the reason there is increased cancer risk with obesity is that there is an overproduction of estrogen, testosterone and insulin, promoting inflammation and cancer cell development.
Bottom line: maintain a healthy weight as you age. Keep an eye on serving portions, drink calorie-free beverages such as water, keep most meals prepped at home with lots of fruits and vegetables, and get in that daily 30-minute walk or other physical activity.
Recipes to try:
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.