What’s the Color of Action?

By Posted on Leave a comment on What’s the Color of Action?

Recently, many women have started adding their bra color to their Facebook status updates to help raise awareness about breast cancer.

Pink ribbon sweater small copy But we at AICR are wondering something, and we want to hear what you think.  Is raising awareness enough?

One NPR blogger, Shereen Meraji, asks this very question. “I changed my status, but I don’t know anything more about breast cancer or how to protect myself against it.”

She’s not alone.  In fact, according to a recent AICR survey, almost half of Americans are not aware of some basic steps we can take to lower our risk for several cancers.

Certainly, AICR applauds efforts to raise awareness about cancer.  But let’s also raise awareness about cancer prevention, while we’re at it.

Reminding your Facebook friends that breast cancer is a disease faced by millions of women is a good first step; but why not provide them with evidenced-based recommendations on how to protect themselves?

AICR recently updated the breast cancer chapter of our expert report on cancer prevention, and we estimate that about 40 percent of breast cancer cases in the U.S. (about 70,000 cases every year) are preventable.  Women can reduce their risk by limiting the amount of alcohol they drink, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

The Breast Cancer Update Reinforces AICR Recommendations:

1. Because of the link between body fat and cancer, AICR recommends people aim to be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
3. If they drink at all, people should limit consumption to one drink a day for a woman, two for a man.
4. Also, mothers should aim to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and thn add other liquids and foods. Mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk and breastfeeding probably also reduces babies’ chances of gaining excess weight as they grow.

What do you think – does raising awareness need action too?

SHARE:

    Obesity and Smoking: Both Bad

    By Posted on Leave a comment on Obesity and Smoking: Both Bad

    Move over smoking, there’s a bigger health-hazard in our country: Obesity. A new study has found that obesity has now become an equal, if not greater, contributor to disease and shortening of a healthy life in comparison to smoking.

    In the study, researchers calculated the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost after surveying participants about a set of questions on health-related quality of life, such as asking about recent poor health days.

    The results don’t seem that surprising, given the fact that obesity rates have steadily and significantly increased over the years, as smoking rates have decreased. From 1993 to 2008, when the study data was collected, the proportion of smokers among US adults reportedly declined 18.5 percent while obesity increased 85 percent. Smoking had a bigger impact on deaths while obesity had a bigger impact on illness.

    The study is scheduled for publication in the February issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine: You can read the news story about it here.

    When it comes to cancer, obesity plays a key role. AICR estimates that approximately 100,000 cancers occurring in the US every year are caused by excess body fat. Add physical activity and a healthy diet to weight management, and we could prevent about one-third of the most common cancers. AICR does not study smoking, but tobacco use is considered to be responsible for a similar percentage of cancer cases – about one-third.

    If you want to lose weight, AICR has developed a 3-step weight loss strategy — no dieting required.

    fat man holding a measurement tape Hand with Cigarette
    Smoking and excess body fat: both modifiable risk factors top the list to shorten a healthy life.
    SHARE: