According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overweight and obesity are associated with 13 types of cancer.

Stay lean to help reduce cancer risk

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overweight and obesity are associated with 13 types of cancer.  More than 630,000 people in the U.S are diagnosed with a cancer associated with overweight and obesity. These make up 40 percent of all cancers, and two of three of these cancers occur in adults between the ages 50 and 74. Cancer researchers suggest that there are many things that individuals, families and communities can do to promote and maintain a healthy weight. And it takes all of us working together to accomplish this.

Obesity and overweight are connected to these cancers:

  • Meninginoma (brain)
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Thyroid
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Uterus
  • Ovaries
  • Breast
  • Colon and rectum                    

Community efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle, resulting in a healthier weight:

  • Promote breastfeeding
  • Encourage families to be active
  • Provide walking trails, wide sidewalks and safe bike lanes
  • Establish community gardens

Families can:

  • Limit TV and computer screen time for everyone – all ages
  • Emphasize family fun activities that get everyone moving each and every day
  • Three meals with a variety of healthy foods prepared at home
  • Grow vegetables at home if possible

For the individual, attention to food choices, portions, and beverages are important for managing weight, and thus reducing cancer risk. And also, making sure that food and eating are not a substitute for boredom, loneliness or depression. If they are, then it is wise to tackle those issues head on with some professional counseling.

Recipes to try:

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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.