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What You Eat Can Impact Your Cancer Risk

January 23, 2012

MADISON, Wis. - If you improve your eating habits and increase your activity, you could lower your cancer chances, according to the American Cancer Society, which has updated its guidelines on cancer prevention through nutrition and physical activity.

Denise Kolba with the Society says those who are obese change their body chemistry, which raises the risk of cancer.

"We know that people who are overweight and obese tend to have higher levels of insulin and estrogen circulating in their blood. Research has shown that these hormones are related to cell growth, and therefore are thought to influence cancer risk."

By many estimates, a quarter of Wisconsinites are obese, and up to 60 percent are overweight.

Some of the new guidelines include lifestyle choices, including maintaining a healthy weight through your entire life, being physically active, limiting alcohol consumption and consuming a diet heavy in plant foods.

Kolba says the new guidelines concentrate on portion size.

"Halving the portion size is the most important thing you can do, but also decrease your amount of processed and red meat. Eat at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose whole grains in preference to refined grain products."

Kolba says to be most successful, people could work together to improve their health. She says no matter your age or weight, you can still lower your cancer risk.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI