Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention

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According to a recent study, fewer US adults with overweight or obesity are trying to lose weight in what is a concerning trend for cancer prevention. With obesity rates increasing and fewer at a healthy weight, more people will be at risk for several cancers such as post menopausal breast and colorectal, as well as other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

In their analysis, researchers used data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 1988 through 2014 to compare weight loss efforts over the past couple of decades. They found that the percent of Americans with overweight trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49% in the past 25 years. This drop occurred in nearly all gender and ethnic categories, but perhaps the most concerning decline was for black women. Almost 8 in 10 black women have overweight or obesity, but those trying to lose weight went from 65.5% to almost 55%. White women and men also showed drops in weight loss efforts.

For cancer prevention, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is one of the most powerful lifestyle factors for lower risk. In those who already have overweight or obesity, we don’t know if losing weight will lower risk, though it seems to make sense. But we do know that losing weight will reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for some cancers, and it can reduce chronic inflammation and other markers for cancer risk. Read more… “Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention”

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    HealthTalk: How to eat for heart-health and cancer prevention

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    Q: I’m following a heart-healthy diet. How can I adapt that for cancer prevention?

    A: Eating for heart health and cancer prevention aren’t as different as you may think. We used to think about heart disease and cancer as having separate risk factors, but now we know that just as tobacco increases risk of both, eating and physical activity habits also affect risk of both.

    Research now shows that heart health means much more than cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It involves the whole environment within blood vessels. By avoiding elevated insulin levels and excess inflammation, you can promote heart health and bypass key drivers of cancer development. Read more… “HealthTalk: How to eat for heart-health and cancer prevention”

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      Successes, Struggles, and Strategies: Inside AICR’s Weight Loss Program

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      “I have participated in several New American Place Challenges and each time I learn more and incorporate the info into my daily life. Thank you for your valuable information, encouragement and unconditional support. This is an awesome program!”

      This message is music to my dietitian ears. It comes from one of the participants of AICR’s 12-week healthy weight program.

      As one of the NAP Challenge coaches, I hear firsthand how our challengers are embracing an eating style that focuses on plant foods, cooking, and becoming more physically active with dedicated daily walks and breaks between long periods of sitting. Read more… “Successes, Struggles, and Strategies: Inside AICR’s Weight Loss Program”

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