Cancer Prevention Guidelines Updated Due to Growing Obesity Epidemic

Prompted by the growing obesity epidemic, the American Cancer Society is updating its cancer prevention guidelines. And, fighting fat is now the top priority.

Maintaining a healthy weight tops the list of the updated cancer prevention guidelines by the American Cancer Society.

The group notes that one third of the more than 500,000 cancer deaths each year are connected to diet and physical activity, which is about the same number of deaths linked to smoking.

May Segal knows the importance of staying healthy and staying in shape. She says, "I move around, I jump around!"

To keep up the pace, the society is now recommending revving up the daily dose of exercise, encouraging fitness oriented activities like biking or jogging, above and beyond the walk around the park.

Harvey Cohen, M.D. of the Duke University Medical Center explains, "That can have positive effects on the physical function as well on cognitive function."

Third on the list: diet, with a push for more fruits and vegetables in the diet and fewer fries; also, a reminder to limit alcohol consumption, for women, one glass a day, two for men.

Finally, a call to communities to create environments to support these cancer fighting strategies, stressing that prevention is a prescription that benefits everyone.

It’s estimated that anywhere from 14 to 20 percent of cancer deaths are related to excess weight. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including 30 percent who are obese.

The American Cancer Society report notes that weight gain, lack of physical activity and alcohol have all been linked as risk factors for a number of cancers, including breast and colon cancer.

Visit the American Cancer Society online, to find out more.

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