Share Your “Never Too Late” Successes — and Challenges

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We’re pleased to announce AICR’s It’s Never Too Late to Lower Your Risk awareness campaign.

Although you can’t control aging – which is the number one risk factor for cancer – the good news is you can make small, everyday changes to prevent or delay cancer at any age.  On our Never Too Late web section, folks age 50 and over will find many ideas, strategies and tips designed specifically to help them take important, but achievable, steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

You will probably begin to feel better as you begin to make diet and physical activity changes, too.  Many people report having more energy, sleeping better and managing stress more effectively – a win-win situation as you lower your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

But maintaining these changes can be challenging.  Support and new ideas are crucial in maintaining your good work or for getting back on track.

This is where you can share your successes and challenges, offer encouragement and connect to others working toward the same goal.  Use the comment section below to let us know what you’re doing, how you’re progressing, what the challenges are and how you’re overcoming those obstacles.

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    Ripple Effect for Cancer Prevention

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    Do you ever engage in “mindless eating?”

    According to Brian Wansink of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Americans often do.  And it typically leads to overeating and eventually overweight and obesity.

    At the “Food for Your Whole Life” Symposium in NYC these last 2 days, there’s been lots of discussion about how we make and sustain lifestyle changes – or don’t.  We’ve heard about everything from wholesale changes (a rancher who switched to a vegan diet) to small steps that add up over time.  All for the purpose of better health now as well as preventing chronic diseases caused by obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

    Dr. Wansink introduced the concept of a “ripple effect.”  It’s about building on small successes.  He described a pilot study his group recently conducted with 2000 participants who chose small changes to make in their diet for three months.  Each group made one small change in their eating behavior, and that’s it.

    Even though they weren’t making any effort to lose weight those who chose the change of using smaller plates at meals lost an average of almost 2 lbs during that time.  The individuals who made the decision to only eat in the kitchen or dining room lost an average of 1.5 lbs.

    That’s interesting, but the best part is that the weight loss was 53% higher in the 3rd month than in the 1st month.  The reason?  The participants reported making other small changes throughout the 3 months.  As they made simple changes and were able to sustain that, they added other changes.  A ripple effect of one small change.

    To begin your own ripple effect see AICR’s tips on making small changes in your diet for cancer prevention.

    Let us know what small change you’ve made to move toward a healthier lifestyle.

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      Serve Up a Healthy Weight

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      Forget serving bowls.  If you’re trying to cut back to lose some weight, a simple strategy may help in a big way.

      According to a Cornell University study titled “Serve Here; Eat There,” if you leave the serving dishes off the table you may eat less.

      The researchers studied the amount of food 78 adults ate under different conditions.  They served some meals from the kitchen (“plated the food”) and allowed serving dishes to be on the table at other meals.

      They found that people refilled their plates fewer times if food was served from the kitchen.  Overall, people ate 20% fewer calories (men ate about 29% less) when serving dishes were absent from the table.

      Finding healthy ways to reduce extra body fat could help Americans reduce cancer cases by 100,000 every year according to AICR.  Learning to eat smaller portions and limiting “seconds” is one strategy experts say works.

      So to lower your risk for cancer and other chronic disease, try this at home: Serve the food in the kitchen and leave the serving dishes off the table – with one exception.  Leave vegetable serving bowls on the table.  You may find you and your family emptying the vegetable bowl rather than filling up on pasta or meat.

      How do you serve your meals?

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