With cancer so much in the news lately, I wanted to highlight the fact that, as the American Cancer Society says on their web site, the major risk factors for cancer, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption and poor eating habits, are behaviors we can change to eliminate that risk.
Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher. BMI is an equation that gives you a numerical reading of your health based on height and weight. You can Google BMI, enter two figures (weight and height) and get your BMI. BMI does not measure body fat, for that you need a body fat analysis. Body fat analysis shows body composition, how much of your weight is fat and how much is muscle and tissue.
In our culture we tend to think that being skinny means being fit. In fact, you can be skinny and also obese. As I explain in my book, Forever Fit … the term “skinny fat”, slang for “normal weight obesity” is a term coined by researchers to describe nearly more than half of all normal weight Americans—30 million strong—who have high percentages of body fat that put them at risk for obesity-related health problems. So if you add that 30 million to the ⅓ of Americans who are obviously obese, we have a dangerously obese population.
We need to lose weight to lower not only our cancer risk but also all other chronic diseases.
Lowering your risk (American Cancer Society)
You can lower your risk of breast cancer by changing those risk factors that can be changed (see the section, “What are the risk factors for breast cancer?”).
Body weight, physical activity, and diet have all been linked to breast cancer, so these might be areas where you can take action.
Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. Alcohol also increases risk of breast cancer. Even low levels of alcohol intake have been linked with an increase in risk.
Many studies have shown that moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk.
A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products has also been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in some studies
To this list I include meditation because meditation lowers the stress and anxiety associated with cravings and mood swings that cause overeating. Meditation is a great tool to help change behavior and stay committed.
Remember you control your health through your behaviors.