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We Are Smoking Less but Eating More and it’s Showing

January 21, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans are like most Americans - smoking less over the last 15 years, resulting in longer life expectancy and improved quality of life. But according to a recent study published in the "New England Journal of Medicine," those benefits could be wiped out by obesity - and the rate of obesity in the population is growing.

Chuck Reed with the Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society says few people know the link between being overweight and getting cancer.

"One of the scary things we found in this recent survey is that 50 percent of the people don't know there is a direct correlation between obesity and cancer."

Quitting smoking is one of the most common New Year's resolutions to make, but if you are going to resolve to be healthy in the New Year, he says, don't stop there.

"If you are going quit smoking, which we encourage you to do, take it one step further and also maintain a healthy body weight. That way, you're making positive lifestyle choices, and you can live longer and enjoy your life better."

Reed says research shows if all U.S. adults became nonsmokers of normal weight by 2020, life expectancy would shoot up 3.76 years.

Tips on healthy eating and new ways to incorporate healthy foods into daily meals are available at www.cancer.org/GreatAmericans.



Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA