Increasing Waistlines and Cancer Risk

Americans’ waistlines are widening, finds a new study, even as our weight appears to be holding steady. The findings are important for cancer risk — along with other diseases — because while obesity is a clear cause of cancers, abdominal obesity may also independently increase risk.canstockphoto17693287

The study, published in JAMA, found that Americans’ average waist circumference increased progressively slightly more than an inch from 1999 to 2012. During those years, waists bumped up from 37.6 to 38.8 inches.

Prevalence also increased, with over half of Americans now having abdominal obesity. Prevalence rose from 46 percent in 1999 to 54 percent in 2012, among both men and women.

The study included 32,816 participants who were part of multiple national surveys from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012. Previous analyses of data from the same surveys show that obesity did not change much from 2003 to 2012, the authors write. Continue reading


Challenge Yourself: Putting Weight Loss Apps to the Test

How do you set your weight loss goals into motion and embark on a new plan? AICR’s New American Plate (NAP) Challenge, a 12-week weight loss program, is kicking off now, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about my first recommendation to any new patient I see seeking weight loss: food records. canstockphoto7929741

Accountability is a key component to behavior change, and is particularly effective for weight loss. Maintaining a healthy body weight will help reduce your cancer risk, and now’s the perfect time to use all your resources that can make this journey a bit easier.

Have you ever noticed you’re more likely to go to a gym class if you’ve committed to go with your friend? Or that you are less likely to overspend at the grocery store when you have a list?

Keeping a food record is one of the best forms of personal accountability. Once you start to learn about your own patterns and triggers to eating, you can identify areas to modify that will help you achieve your weight loss goals. There are many online programs and phone apps that make it easy to track your food intake and learn more about which foods and meals prove the best nutrition. Now the question is, how do you choose the best app? Continue reading


Report: Half of Cancer Deaths Can Be Prevented

More than half of the estimated cancer deaths projected to occur in the United States this year are related to preventable causes, states a major report on cancer research released yesterday by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

Source: AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014.

Source: AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014.

AACR’s fourth Cancer Progress Report focuses on diagnosis and treatment, but a significant part of the report highlights the research in prevention, using World Cancer Research Fund and AICR findings, along with other data.

Here at AICR, we focus on how diet, foods, weight and activity link to cancer risk. With changes to those lifestyle factors, AICR estimates that approximately one of every three cancer cases are preventable.

Using data that includes vaccines, sun exposure, smoking and other facts, the AACR report says that more than 50 percent of the 585,720 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States in 2014 will be related to preventable causes.

Knowing that so many thousands of cancers are preventable is far beyond what research knew only a few decades ago. The report also has a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much, unless you do what’s right.”

For strategies and more information on how lifestyle factors relate to each cancer site, visit our new site on prevention.