Yea for Idaho

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The latest issue of Cancer Research Update is here and it highlights several studies suggesting that healthy eating habits have a real effect on mortality and health. And the evidence is clear the eating plenty of fruits and vegetables plays a role in preventing many chronic disease, including cancer.

That’s the good news. The bad news: Americans aren’t going for it. A new CDC report looking at 2009 data finds that the majority of Americans aren’t eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables: fruit at least twice and vegetables at least three times daily. In 2009, only 32% of adults were eating at least two fruits each day, and 26%  eating three servings or more of vegetables daily. Compared to 2000 data, the proportion of adults eating the recommended amounts of fruit actually declined.

The report shows trends in fruit and vegetable consumption from 2000 to 2009. Idaho was the only state that had significant, although slight, increases in both fruit and vegetable consumption. There were 10 states that had slight but significant decreases in both fruit and vegetables.

Want to see how your state ranks over the years? Here’s the report.

One Easy Pack for Breast Cancer Prevention

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To support October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AICR has just introduced “The AICR Breast Cancer Prevention Pack.” These science-based materials provide easy-to-read and practical ideas to help women prevent breast cancer through basic lifestyle changes.

If you’re looking for materials for a health fair – in October, or any month – this pack is a perfect way to reach women of all ages.

The brochures and health aids in the packet include:

1. “Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer” – an overview of breast cancer prevention

2. “The Facts about Alcohol” – information on how alcohol affects breast cancer risk

3. “The New American Plate” – AICR’s popular guide, with recipes, for eating for a healthy weight

4. “AICR Guidelines Magnet” – developed to help women remember their daily physical activity

5. “BSE Shower Card – A waterproof “how to” and monthly reminder for breast self-exams

Let us know what kind of health fair or event your organization is planning this fall!

Healthier Living: Living Longer

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Eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. Add exercising and it’s even healthier. Combine a healthy weight to the mix and the risk of an early death continues to decrease.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but the findings of a new study showing how healthy lifestyle patterns may reduce the risk of an early death are striking.

The study is published in the journal PLoS Medicine and here is the abstract.

The authors used data from about 71,000 Chinese women who are part the Shanghai Women’s Healthy Study. The women never smoked or drank alcohol regularly.

Researchers gave one point for each of five health factors: being a normal weight; lower waist-hip ratio (an estimate of abdominal fat); regular exercise; never exposed to spouse’s smoking; and relatively high fruit and vegetable daily intake. Scores ranged from 0 points (having no health factors) to 5 points (having all health factors).

After an average of 9 years, the researchers found that the higher the healthy lifestyle score, the lower the risk of death from all causes, as well as from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, specifically. This finding held true regardless of whether the women started out with a disease.

Women with 4 to 5 healthy lifestyle factors had a 43 percent lower risk of death overall during the course of the study compared to women with a score of zero: Specifically, heart disease mortality was reduced by 71 percent and cancer mortality by 24 percent.

When it comes to cancer incidence, the AICR’s 2009 policy report found almost a quarter of all the cancer cases in the United States are preventable through healthy lifestyle habits.

Want to see how you rate when it comes to healthy habits? Take our quiz on diet and physical activity.