Being Active - Reducing Obesity and Lowering Cancer Risk

Staying at a healthy weight lowers the risk of developing some cancers including breast, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, and uterine (excluding cervix).  Gaining weight and being overweight or obese are also associated with conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that people be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight. The normal range is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 21 and 23. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life may be one of the most important ways to protect against cancer. This will also protect against a number of other common chronic diseases. 

The World Cancer Research Fund also recommends that people be physically active, avoid energy-dense foods and sugary drinks (which protects against weight gain and obesity), and eat plant-based foods (which are low in energy density and so promote healthy weight). (Reference: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer:  a Global Perspective report 2007)

Healthy eating and physical activity contribute to cancer prevention, but they also contribute to healthy weights which further reduces the risk of cancer. 

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