Fighting cancer with a spoon

The American Cancer Society’s “Eat Right Challenge” began last Thursday.

In a press release, Al Stabilito, public relations director for ACS’s Northeast Ohio District asks, “Can you fight cancer with a spoon? It sounds like a silly question, but consider that except for quitting smoking, the best way to cut your risk of cancer is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, to be physically active on a regular basis and to make healthy food choices.”

Roughly 550,000 Americans die annually from cancer. An estimated one-third of those deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and carrying excess weight, Stabilito states in the release.

“So yes, you can fight cancer with a spoon, if the spoon is holding a serving of fruit or vegetables,” he said.

Thursday, the ACS issued the “Great American Eat Right Challenge” that calls on Americans to aim for a healthy body weight and to eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Americans should also limit their consumption of red meats, especially high-fat and processed meats, according to ACS.

In the U.S., being overweight and obese are clearly associated with increased risk for developing many cancers, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus and kidney. It is also believed that obesity increases the risk for cancers of the pancreas, gallbladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and for multiple myeloma, Hodgkins lymphoma, and aggressive prostate cancer, Stabilito said.

The link between body weight and cancer risk is believed to stem from multiple effects on fat and sugar metabolism, immune function, hormone levels and cell growth, according to ACS.

The American Cancer Society has resources available to help people take on the “Great American Eat Right Challenge.” They include calling ACS toll free at (800) 227-2345, where experts can provide callers with the latest research and guidance on how to succeed with the challenge; or visiting the ACS Website at cancer.org/greatamericans, Stabilito said.

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