In a recent publication, ageing was looked at extensively including the effect of lifestyle on medical conditions such as dementia, diabetes and even bone strength (osteoporosis) – but now it appears that what you do on a day to day basis can also protect you from a range of cancers by over 30%.
In fact 1 in 3 cancer deaths are now thought to directly relate to obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
A 2014 report on world cancer rates highlighted the extent to which lifestyle behaviours led to cancer. The lifestyle behaviours listed include smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, being overweight and having a lack of exercise.
The report compiled the most up-to-date analysis of data on all aspects of cancer, and among the evidence presented was data showing the extent to which lifestyle behaviours contribute to cancer.
“Decades of research have shown that by stopping smoking is the single most powerful way to prevent many deadly cancers, but the research went on to say that
Tackling obesity, is another top prevention. In the United States, “1 in 3 cancer deaths are related to obesity, poor nutrition, or physical inactivity, and the problem will only increase as more countries and regions adopt the diet and lifestyles of more economically developed economies.”
Being overweight appears to directly increase the risk for cancers of the oesophagus, colon, pancreas and kidney, as well as breast cancer that develops after menopause.
So how often are you eating fresh fruit and vegetables? Are you walking or running at least 3 times a week at the correct intensity? While helping to decrease weight, regular physical exercise also decreases the risk of getting colorectal and breast cancer.
The research is very clear about what you need to do to age well.
So what is the optimum weight? There are many issues around BMI and muscle mass versus fat; especially in relation to athletes. Another measure which has been used is reportedly a lot more accurate and requires no more than a simple tape measure. Measure your height and then measure around your tummy button. Your stomach should be no more than ½ the size of your height. If your height is 160 cm then your stomach should not be any larger than 80 cm.
Medscape Medical News > Oncology, Cancers Caused by Lifestyle Behaviors: Experts Urge Action, Zosia Chustecka, February 06, 2014