Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight can help prevent about one third of all cancers according to a 2007 report by the World Cancer Research Fund. This report and its companion policy report make the following key recommendations for preventing cancer:

•Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.
•Be physically active as part of everyday life.
•Limit food and drinks that cause weight gain.
•Eat mostly foods of plant origin.
•Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meats.
•Limit alcoholic drinks.
•Limit the amount of salt you eat.
•Try to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone, rather than through dietary supplements.

More information on Canada's Phyisical Activity Guidelines can be found on the Canadian Society for Exerecise Physiology website.

A second report released in February 2009 called Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention -  Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity:  a Global Perspective moves beyond the individual recommendations for cancer prevention and identifies policy and action required to support individuals in acting on these recommendations. 

This policy report, from the World Cancer Research Fund, identifies Principles for Cancer Prevention – three of them are as follows:

1.Cancer is mostly a preventable disease.  The most effective protections against most cancers are avoidance of smoking and exposure to tobacco; healthy diets and body weight; and regular physical activity.

2.To control and prevent cancer and other epidemic disease in populations, focus not on the biology and pathology of the disease, but on its behavioural, social, economic and environmental determinants.

3.Citizens have a right to expect that the decisions that determine the availability of foods and drinks and opportunities for physical activity are taken with protection of public health as an imperative priority.

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