New Survey: How Fit is Your City?

Washington, DC, now ranks as America’s fittest metropolitan area, with Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, not far behind, according to a new survey. The American Fitness Index survey takes into account several factors related to cancer prevention, such as being active, obesity and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

AICR estimates that if everyone were to be active, stay lean, and eat healthy, Americans could prevent about one-third of the most common cancers.Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 12.23.13pm

You can read the full report and see how your city ranks at American Fitness Index.

The survey, by the American College of Sports Medicine, looks at measures of personal health and community/environmental health. Personal health indicators included the percent of the population that smokes, is obese, meets government activity guidelines, and eats three or more vegetables a day.

Community health indicators include the percent of people who bike to work and walk, as well as the amount of parks and recreational centers the city has. The survey also used data on how much money the region spends on park expense per resident, and its physical activity requirements for schools.

The cities that ranked lowest in overall fitness include Memphis, Louisville and Oklahoma City.

This is the seventh annual American Fitness Index report. Last year’s fittest city was Minneapolis, but this survey used different methods and new measures from previous reports so they cannot be evenly compared.


By 2030, Top Cancer Death Causes Shift, Many Preventable

A study making news this week suggests that the leading types of cancers diagnosed and causes of death will shuffle in the coming years — with pancreatic cancer climbing to the second leading cause of death. Yet even as the top cancers shift by 2030, the research underscores the importance of preventive strategies, many of which will reduce risk for other chronic diseases.apple, tape measure, scale, stethoscope

AICR research suggests that for the 12 most common US cancers, about one third are preventable by changes to our diet, weight, and activity. Not smoking and other preventive strategies will prevent even more.

For the new study, published in Cancer Research, researchers projected cancer incidence and deaths for 2020 and 2030.

Study authors projected incidence for  the 12 most common cancers for men and 13 for women. For cancer mortality they looked at the 14 deadliest cancers for men and 16 for women. They took into account changing demographics, incidence and death rates. Continue reading


Eating Your (Cancer-Protective) Pizza, and Tomatoes Too

If you’re like the average American, you’re getting about a third of your tomatoes from pizza when you eat out, according to a USDA survey. That’s a big deal, because almost a quarter of the vegetables we eat come from tomatoes and its many forms, including spaghetti sauces and ketchup, says the USDA’s Economic Research Services report.

We here at AICR love tomatoes, they provide fiber, vitamin C and lycopene. And AICR research suggests that foods containing lycopene lower risk for prostate cancerthr-americas-tomato-consumption

There are a lot of ways to enjoy a tomato, we’ve got 13 of them right here. And because pizza is clearly a favorite, Alice Bender, MS, RDN, gives a few ways to order and make healthier pizza.

1. Order extra veggies, whether its tomato slices or spinach, basil, garlic, peppers and onions. Skip the meat and extra cheese.

2.  Go for a pizza with a thin crust, then get double sauce and a few dollops of fresh mozzarella. Complete your meal with a salad loaded with colorful veggies.

3.  Involve the whole family with a make your own pizza night. Use this recipe – Grilled Pizza with Grilled Vegetables – as a starting point for putting together a healthy and delicious pizza.

The USDA analysis also says that we’re only eating about 1.5 cups of vegetables per day – government guidelines recommend two to three daily cups. From the tomatoes, about three quarters of that comes from sauces, whether eating out or at home. The government recommends 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, which also reduces risk of many cancers.

Have some delicious tomatoes ideas? Please share.