Obesity, Physical Activity and Cancer

21 September 2016

What do obesity and physical inactivity have in common?
If you said that they both sound unhealthy, you'd be right: they are serious cancer risks. 

In fact, they increase the risk of many cancers: breast, bowel, prostate, uterus, liver, pancreas and others.

Obesity Action Scotland spent the first two days of September in London at a conference organised jointly by the World Obesity Federation and World Cancer Research Fund International. It was a small meeting at which medics and researchers from around the world presented the newest findings on the life-course influences and mechanisms of obesity, physical activity and cancer.

Thousands of studies, experiments, ideas, hypotheses, millions of cancer research patients and the efforts of some very clever people are bringing us a message worth shouting from the roof-tops: “Reducing the risk of cancer is very much in your hands!” 

Around 40 per cent of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes! So how can you do it? You have probably known it all along: eat healthy food and be active.

No one can be sure whether they will ever get cancer. Why bother if you won’t? Well, you are ‘risking’ becoming fitter, leaner, stronger, more energetic, having a better quality of life and reducing your chances of getting diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even better, you may improve the health of your children not only by a lifestyle example but also through the influence food has on your genes.

We’ve already started: the conference organisers made it easy by providing delicious lunches with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, we walked everywhere, and even enjoyed an evening London jog!