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Home » SCIENCE AND NATURE in CT » CONNECTICUT (all topics) » A Healthier You
The Center for Disease Control
A Healthier You

The Link Between Obesity and “Common Cancers”

By Jim Cipriani | March 17, 2011

Previous Article in this Series

What the heck is a fat cancer?

Today I was sent an email by fitness guru Jon Benson that described recent studies on global obesity and the direct link to ‘common cancers.’ So what are common cancers? The Center For Disease Control feel are cancers that are ‘lifestyle-preventable.’

Two counterparts to a London-based study confirmed what has been long suspected:

Glasses of Beer

‘About a third of all common cancers in the United States, China and Britain could be prevented each year if people ate healthier food, drank less alcohol and exercised more.’

This may sound like common sense, but cancer is SO complex it’s really hard to narrow down simple lifestyle changes to a prevention of a third of all common cancers.   But that’s exactly what the data shows.

There’s more, these ‘common cancers’ are referred to as... ready?

‘Fat cancers...’


Have you ever heard of a fat cancer? I haven’t! But when you read the study, there it is. Smacking you in the face.

The term ‘fat cancers’ is not mentioned in a mean or degrading way... just factual.

The Battle of the Bulge

‘So-called “fat cancers” that were usually associated with wealthy countries are becoming more common in the developing world, too.’

What has that meant to the obesity rate across the world? A recent study by the Imperial College in London shows that it has doubled in the last thirty years.   Really? Doubled in less time than many you reading this have been alive?

Being obese is painful enough by itself and I should know. I see it every day, I work with it every day and I fight it, myself, everyday.   Believe me, my family definitely has the fat gene.

I see how emotionally and physically painful it is. I see it (and feel it) when a little excess weight starts to accumulate.   You end up feeling constantly tired, uncomfortable and emotionally drained.

Maybe someone carrying excess weight doesn’t feel those things, maybe they are okay with it.   But their bodies are far from okay.

Jon Benson stated in that very same email that he sees excess body fat and obesity more as a disease rather than a symptom.   I’m not sure I can disagree.

The truth of the matter is that excess body fat causes so many painful emotional conditions, ranging from not being comfortable in your own clothes (and even more uncomfortable out of them), to being depressed and socially isolated.

Excess body fat is a disease if you ask me.   I’m with Jon in saying that we stop calling it just a symptom.

Imperial College, London

I know it’s not politically correct to sit here and say that excess body fat and obesity are a disease. But, I’m not here to be sensitive to someone’s feelings. I’m here to get people to be the absolute best that they can possibly be.

So, in helping you to become the healthiest you can be, here’s the first part of a three part ‘Cure For Fat.’

Always begin with dietary changes, not exercise! Yes! You read that correctly!

Diet is by far the most important element in not only reducing body fat but also decreasing the risk for so many illnesses and ailments.

If you are going to concentrate on making only one change to your lifestyle at this time, start with dietary changes.

Here’s how to get started:

• Divide a standard plate into thirds. Fill one-third with a portion of lean protein, one-third with a complex carbohydrate or fruit, and one-third with a green, leafy, fibrous vegetable.

• Measure your portion sizes by the size of your hand or fist. The bigger you are, the more you will need to eat, if you are smaller you need less.   Note: green leafy vegetables have no limit.   Eat as much of them as you want!

• For those looking to lose weight/fat as fast (and as safe and healthy) as possible, you can remove the complex carbohydrate side of the dish and replace it with 50% more lean protein and extra vegetables.

Pretty simple, huh?

An Assortment of Vegetables

Now, eat one of those plates every 3-4 hours.

You can break from your nutrition plan about 10% of the time.   This includes missing meals as well as eating those little treats that we enjoy.   If you don’t want to do the math, simply enjoy your favorite foods twice a week.   You can make this work for you even further by taking a long walk after your “treat” meals.

Actually, walk as much as you can! Go by the adage of “don’t sit when you can stand and don’t stand when you can walk.”

There, I just gave you part one (and actually a bit of part two) to get you started.   Part three is coming up next time.

I hope this message hits home with you as much as it did me. Did this information make you a little more nervous? Or at least aware? Good!

Does it inspire you make better choices? GREAT!!!

Sometimes the facts are the best inspiration to have you living a healthier lifestyle.   Which means eating less, eating better, and moving more, in other words - exercise!

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