The World Cancer Research Fund recently published a report that linked 12 types of cancers to being overweight. And you’ve probably heard the phrase “obesity epidemic” – because as of 2016, an estimated 1.97 billion adults worldwide were considered overweight or obese.
The twelve cancers linked to being overweight include: breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, liver, mouth, pharynx and larynx, oesophageal, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and stomach.
Dr. Kate Allen is the executive director of science and public affairs at World Cancer Research Fund International. She states that it is unlikely that there are ‘magic bullet’ foods or nutrients that in themselves cause or protect against cancer. Instead, she believes that there are different patterns of diet and physical activity that (combined) create a state of health that makes someone more or less susceptible to cancer. Furthermore, in 2017, the American Cancer Society found that poor diets, inactivity, and weight gain played a role in the rise of cancer rates.
Finding The Right Pattern For You
Take a moment and think about your lifestyle. If you had to sum up your patterns of diet and exercise using a few words, what words would you choose? Would you choose words like consistent, supportive, life-giving, and nutritious? Or would you choose words such as unsteady, inconsistent, and tiresome?
To lower your risk of cancer, it is important that you create patterns throughout your day that support your mind, body, and spirit. Your patterns will look different than others so don’t be tempted to look at what your neighbor is doing – follow the steps below to begin creating supportive patterns that are unique to you!
- Healthy Diet – fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and fiber-rich foods. Some small steps to start taking can include starting the day off with a nutritious breakfast, packing your lunch, cooking dinner at home more often, limiting consumption of red or processed meats, and practicing moderation with sweets and fast food.
- Exercise – You don’t have to join a gym or run a marathon to reap the benefits of physical activity – you just have to start moving. Get more steps in during your day by taking the stairs, parking at the back of the lot, taking walk breaks during the work day, and making a habit of going for an evening stroll after dinner. Start slow by adding just a little bit more activity to your day to ensure your activity is both manageable and maintainable.