Overweight and obesity are responsible for about 120,000 cases of cancer in the United States each year. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans develops cancer at some point in their lives.
Although cancer touches many of us, many parents and health educators are unaware that prevention starts early – in childhood, or even in utero! Diet can affect not only your health, but that of generations to come. Last month, I spoke about healthy eating strategies for parents and educators in a webinar, working with AICR.
Here are some highlighted tips for cancer prevention:
- Eat more beans. They’re packed with phytochemicals and fiber –both, which can play a role in disease prevention. To cut back on sodium in canned beans, rinse them first. It decreases the sodium content by as much as 40%.
- Find creative ways to move more! Have a “dark party” with your kids and their friends. Buy a pack of Glow-sticks and give each child a couple, crank up the volume on their favorite dance tunes and turn off the lights!
For employees who are stressed at work or struggle to make a healthy dinner for their family, a new study finds that a flexible workplace program can help address these concerns and lead to weight loss, adding almost half an hour of weekly physical activity, and improving many other risk factors.
The study focused on employees at risk for type 2 diabetes (86 million US adults are at risk). Lowering risk for type 2 diabetes also means reduced risk for some cancers, including colon, breast (postmenopausal), pancreas and endometrium. Type 2 diabetes increases risk of some cancers, and both diseases share several risk factors such as obesity, elevated insulin levels, and physical inactivity.
The study, published last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found significant improvement in weight, waist size, insulin levels and physical activity in participants. About 90 employees participated by attending group classes or watching a DVD and having a weekly phone call with the lifestyle coach, or a combination of those. Continue reading
A few AICR staff enjoying standing while working!
There’s been a buzz around the AICR office lately. Not only because we kicked off our CanPrevent campaign, but a new wave of staff has opted to install standing desks! It’s wonderful to walk past offices and see some of my colleagues standing tall and typing away or reading.
Our organization offered them to us because studies have suggested that sitting or lying down for long periods of time may play a role in increased cancer risk. Standing doesn’t replace being active, but it is one way to put AICR Recommendations into action.
Standing desks were new to everyone here, so I went around asking my coworkers about their experiences and challenges. Here’s the overview.
The biggest challenges
Two challenges people faced were getting sore feet and going back and forth between documents on their desk and computer when they were standing. Comfy shoes and adapting your desk space could help – see tips below. Continue reading