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Cancer Prevention: New Nutrition and Exercise Guidelines

January 16, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas - By improving your eating habits and increasing your physical activity, you could significantly lower your chances of getting cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently updated its lifestyle guidelines for cancer prevention, citing research indicating that obesity affects the immune system and hormonal activity related to cell growth.

That's why shedding excess weight is being emphasized now more than ever, says Greg Cameron, with the ACS Texas High Plains chapter.

"We definitely want people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Then, we also encourage them to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or physical activity each week."

He says losing even a small amount of weight can be beneficial. And, he adds, it's never too late to start.

Besides quitting smoking, Cameron says getting good nutrition and exercise play the biggest roles in lowering cancer risk. Smaller meal portions are critical for those who need to shed some pounds, he says, and it is also important to pay attention to what's on that plate.

"Consume a healthy diet. Most of that should consist of plant sources - fruits and vegetables. We also recommend limiting alcohol consumption, if you drink at all."

Accoding to the ACS, excessive weight is a factor in 14 percent to 20 percent of U.S. cancer deaths, and those who follow the new recommendations for diet and exercise will also reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

An overview of the updated guidelines is available at www.cancer.org.

Peter Malof, Public News Service - TX