We hear it all the time. Americans are overweight. And, it’s true. As a population, we’re eating more. Combine that with eating more unhealthy foods, and being less physically active… It’s no wonder many of us are overweight.
So, what can we do about that? Do we want to be part of the 1 in 3 adults that are overweight or obese? I really don’t.
Consider some of the serious health issues we face from being overweight, as provided by the American Cancer Society.
Shorter life expectancy. Overweight and obese people, on average, do not live as long as people who maintain a healthy body weight throughout their lives.
Health risks. Some of the health risks of being overweight include an increased risk of the following: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory issues, arthritis, infertility in women, and certain types of cancers.
Cancer risks. Being overweight or obese is also linked to an increased risk of MANY cancers, including: breast cancer, colon and rectum, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, non-hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cervix, ovary, and aggressive forms of prostate cancers. And, new research shows fat cells actually support tumor growth (see previous post “obesity research…”).
It’s estimated that 1 out of every three cancer deaths in the US is linked to excess weight, poor nutrition, or physical inactivity. And, while these all are contributing factors to cancer risk, body weight seems to have the “strongest evidence linking it to cancer”. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.
It is also believed that excess body weight affects immune system function and inflammation, and it even affects insulin and estrogen levels. These may be contributing factors to the above mentioned health risks.
So, now what?
- Think about weight loss in small steps
- Try to balance how much you eat with how active you are
- Limit calories through smaller portions
- Burn more calories through physical activity
- Limit between-meal snacks
- Limit food and drinks that are high in calories, fat or added sugars
- Eat more veggies and fruits, whole grains, beans, and lower calorie drinks
And, recognize that being physically active is important. It’s good for our waistline, for our mental outlook, and for our health. That’s a win-win.
- Body Weight and Cancer Risk (cancer.org)
- Getting Motivated to Exercise (allthingshotpink.wordpress.com)
- Three Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk (epicahealth.com)
- What 93% of Americans Don’t Know: Obesity Raises Cancer Risk (psychologytoday.com)
- Obesity survey suggests many Americans don’t know fat can cause cancer, infertility (cbsnews.com)
- Why is Healthy Weight Important? (fatdadfitdad.wordpress.com)