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Obesity and Cancer
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If your New Year’s resolution is to lose excess weight, you’ve made a good choice. Possibly a life-saving choice.

Researchers with the American Institute for Cancer Research released a report last November which states that obesity is responsible for 100,000 cancer cases annually.1 The researchers looked at seven different cancers that are known to be linked to obesity, and then calculated the cases that most likely were brought on by obesity. It revealed these percentages:
  • 49 percent of endometrial cancers
  • 35 percent of esophageal cancers
  • 28 percent of pancreatic cancers
  • 24 percent of kidney cancers
  • 21 percent of gallbladder cancers
  • 17 percent of breast cancers
  • 9 percent of colorectal cancers
Glen Weldon, educational director for the American Institute for Cancer Research said of these findings, “This is the first time that we’ve put real, quantifiable case numbers on obesity-related cancers.” And it’s not only that obesity is causing cancer. “It also has a negative affect on survival and can make treatment more difficult,” says Weldon.

First Step

Although the American Cancer Society praised the new research, they were quick to add that this report is only the first step. Dr. Michael Thun says, “While the study addresses the magnitude of the problem, it does not propose potential solutions. The bottom line for people concerned about this issue is to try to balance the calories you take in with those your body expends every day.”

And this is where we individually come in. The research is there. There could be 100,000 fewer cancer cases in future years if we Americans would eat right and exercise. So we need to do some research of our own. We need to research cookbooks and nutrition books to find a low calorie, healthy approach to eating that we can enjoy. And we need to research which exercises would be best and most enjoyable. Additionally, since obesity is also a known cause of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes, the benefits go far beyond fighting cancer.

Our health is our responsibility. Health and longevity have to be more important to us than satisfying our desire for unhealthy foods and a sedentary lifestyle. The 100,000 figure represents a lot of people who are suffering needlessly from a disease that is totally preventable. Let’s make 2010 the year we bring that number down. Don’t become a statistic. Become a defeater.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 American Institute for Cancer Research

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