Next time you take another bite when you arenít actually hungry, you might want to think about what else you might be opting for, besides an extra ... morsel -perhaps it could be ... of
Next time you take another bite when you arenít actually hungry, you might want to think about what else you might be opting for, besides an extra scrumptious morsel -perhaps it could be cancer.
One of the most important steps you can take to lower your risk of cancer is to maintain a healthy weight. Most of us have been hearing about genetic and environmental pollutants for so long that we think cancer is beyond our control, but in fact, more than 50 percent of all cancers can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. While most people are aware that a healthy weight can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, gall bladder disease, and sleep apnea, few realize that it can also lower the risk of some of the most common types of cancer, including breast, colon, and endometrial cancer.
Are You a Healthy Weight? A healthy weight is defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or lower. Higher than 30 is the medical definition of obesity, which usually marks the threshold researchers define as associated with increased risks. To find out yours, go to www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm
Breast Cancer According to the Harvard Nurseís Health Study, women may be able to lower their risk of breast cancer by keeping their weight steady. Compared to women who gained less than five pounds during adulthood, those who gained more than 45 pounds had 40 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. The more weight a woman puts on after menopause, the more estrogen her body produces- and the higher her risk of breast cancer. Overweight women are often diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage, when it is more difficult to treat.
Colon Cancer Colon Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but it is also one of the most preventable. Among the many ways that men and women can lower their risk of this disease is to maintain a healthy weight. Data shows that obese people are 50 percent more likely than lean adults to develop non-cancerous growths in the colon that have the potential become cancerous.
So instead of opting for maybe a possible malignancy with those extra helpings, help yourself to a mindfulness of determining whether or not really are hungry, and congratulate yourself for making a healthy choice.
(Some excerpts printed with permission from The Nurses Health Study Annual Newsletter /November 2003, vol. 10)