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Obesity Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
Date:10/31/2007

Report says exercise and diet can lower chances of malignancies

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Weight management, exercise and proper nutrition are key to reducing your risk of cancer. And the earlier in life you adopt these practices, the better off you'll be, a new study suggests.

Factors such as birth weight, childbearing, breast-feeding, and adult height and weight also influence cancer risk, according to the report released Wednesday by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Britain-based World Cancer Research Fund. Understanding how these factors affect cancer risk, and how to put this information to use to prevent the disease, offer promising new directions for cancer research, the study authors said.

"We need to think about cancer as the product of many long-term influences, not as something that 'just happens,' " Dr. Walter J. Willett said in a prepared statement. Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, was one of 21 authors of the report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.

"Examining the causes of cancer this way, across the entire lifetime, is called the life course approach," he added.

The report, an analysis by scientists from around the world of more than 7,000 studies, offers 10 recommendations to help prevent cancer. They include staying lean, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, limiting your intake of red meat and alcohol, and avoiding processed meats.

"These findings are right on," said Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity at the American Cancer Society. "They are consistent with our own nutrition and physical activity guidelines. They clearly put the emphasis where the emphasis needs to be, and that's on controlling your weight."

The analysis of the studies found a definite link between excess fat and canc
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