Research news and views on preventing and surviving cancer
Author: Alice RD
Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.
Life after a major illness like cancer, may at times seem as overwhelming as the experience of navigating through the disease. Here at AICR we often hear from cancer survivors who are looking for help with what to do to boost their odds for a longer, healthier life. AICR’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations are a blueprint for overall healthy habits and one great place to start. And with the New American Plate (NAP) Challenge you can integrate diet and physical activity recommendations into your lifestyle with weekly challenges that are specific and realistic.
Recently, AICR/WCRF released its report Diet, nutrition and physical activity: Energy balance and body fatness, on lifestyle factors most strongly linked to weight gain, overweight and obesity. This is important for cancer prevention, because overweight and obesity increase risk for at least 12 types of cancer. Key findings from the new report show physical activity, certain foods and beverages, and dietary patterns play an important role in energy balance and body weight management.
The same rigorous approach used in producing the AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project (CUP) reports was used in compiling this report: the systematic reviews, meta-analyses and expert panel evaluations ensure the quality and trustworthiness of the evidence-based findings. These findings can help dietitians, doctors and health educators work with patients to explore specific behaviors that decrease or increase risk of weight gain. Encouraging clients to identify realistic and specific steps to avoid or stop weight gain can be empowering. Yet, there are challenges for clinicians in discussing weight, including obesity stigma, anti-fat bias, unrealistic weight loss goals and the difficulty of weight loss for many people. Read more… “Conversations About Weight: Finding a Healthy Balance”
With the latest AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations and the newly updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, we have more guidance about why – and how – we need to move more. The main message is: MOVE MORE, SIT LESS – an important first step. But winter and cold weather can be a major impediment to getting active and eventually meeting the recommended 20-30 minutes daily of moderate physical activity.
Health care experts know the benefits of activity, so how do they keep fit in winter? We asked oncology dietitians how they stay active, and what they recommend to their patients when it’s just too cold or nasty to go outside. We shared some ideas in AICR’s eNewsletter this month, but here are even more of those creative choices*:
A self-challenge: I like the Fitbit to keep track of my activity. I have a “challenge” from 5 am to 6 pm to get at least 250 steps each hour. At 10 minutes before the hour, I get an alert if I haven’t achieved that.
I use the GoNoodle app for my kids (and I join in sometimes). – J. Paige Williamson, MS, RD, LDN
Try SparkPeople.com videos! They are good for a variety of abilities and fitness levels. – Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDE