At the Summit: Partnerships and Actions to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Last week’s 2014 summit of the Partnership for a Healthier America showed inspiring results from a growing number of non-profit, government and corporate collaborations for “Building a Healthier Future.”

The conference focused on how the many sectors in our society can support children – and Americans in general – in reducing obesity levels. And that’s important for cancer prevention, because after not smoking, obesity is the single largest risk factor for cancer.

Celebrating its fourth year, the Partnership’s meeting was graced by uplifting remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, whose initiative Let’s Move to reduce childhood obesity and increase physical activity and healthy eating in hundreds of schools has been pivotal for the public-private partnerships now expanding that theme. Continue reading


Added Sugars: Soda versus Food

Added sugar is making a lot of news lately. Last week, I wrote about the FDA’s proposed new Nutrition Facts label that would show how much sugar is added to foods. This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released their new recommendation for an upper limit on how much added sugar we eat. They now say that no more than 5% of total daily calories should come from added sugars – about 100 calories, or 25 grams of sugar – for an adult.

Twenty-five grams of added sugar is not much. Check out the table below to see two ways you’d reach that daily limit – one way is pure sugar, another includes foods with cancer fighting compounds.

A sugary soda (8-ounces) vs. 4 delicious, healthful foods
Bottle of soda isolated on white background. Clipping Path
25 grams
=
Healthy breakfast
6 grams
Vanilla yogurt over strawberries banana and blueberries isolated on white.
11 grams
Raspberry jam dripping from a spoon isolated on white background
3 grams
Delicious chocolates closeup on white background
5 grams

Added sugar is a concern, especially in sugary beverages, because it contributes to overweight and obesity which is linked to 7 cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal and endometrial.

For those interested, WHO is accepting public comments on this recommendation.


Cancer Prevention: Not Sexy or Hot

One of the most common responses when I tell people the most important things they can do to prevent cancer, based on the scientific evidence, is that the things seem so simple or obvious.Healthy lifestyle concept, Diet and fitness

Maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active. Use sunscreen and sun protective clothing when you can’t choose to be in the shade. Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose to spend time in places free of secondhand smoke. Quit smoking if you smoke.

They do sound like health tips. They aren’t sexy or “hot” or “new” like it would be to talk about plastics, pesticides, lotions and the like. But here’s the thing… while we still have plenty of work to do to explore the role those factors might play in cancer, we KNOW that the things above matter. We know that if we implemented those things and a few others, we could prevent at least HALF of all cancers. Continue reading