February is cancer awareness month. After a large survey of Americans, The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published results indicating that there was a lot of confusion about cancer risk and prevention. Only half of Americans know that one of the single biggest factors that ups cancer risk: obesity. In fact, excess body fat is a cause of 11 cancers, and aside from not smoking – staying a healthy weight is the single largest step you can take to lower your cancer risk.
Yes, tobacco causes cancer and so does sun exposure. Processed and cured meats contribute to stomach and colorectal cancers.
Truth: The science is still inconclusive as to whether genetically modified foods and high fat diets contribute to cancer risk. I am not advocating either but those are the facts as we know it now.
One of three common cancers in the US can be prevented through diet, weight management, and physical activity. That estimate grows to half when factors such as not smoking and avoiding sun damage are added.
What you regularly eat matters. Quit smoking. Get sweaty.
Kimberly Young MS CNS is a practicing nutritionist and educator in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her integrative approach and schedule online at http://www.kyoungnutrition.com.
Data source: AICR