Reducing the risk of cancer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Next week, Suffolkians will have the opportunity to participate in a nationwide observance designed to focus attention on the nation’s bulging waste line and the tremendous health risks associated with the phenomenon.

The Great American Weigh-In, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is designed to encourage Americans to eat a healthful diet and to be active because of the potential impact of diet and activity on cancer risk.

The ACS publishes Nutritional and Physical Activity Guidelines to encourage lifestyle practices that may help prevent cancer and to stimulate changes in communities that make it easier for people to make health choices.

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Among the guidelines espoused by the ACS:

Eat a variety of healthful foods, with emphasis on plant sources.

Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains and sugars.

Limit consumption of red meats, especially those processed and high in fat.

Choose foods that help maintain a healthful weight

Adopt a physically active lifestyle. Adults should engage in at least moderate activity for 30 minutes or more five or more days per week.

Events next week in Suffolk are being coordinated by Obici Hospital’s Partnership for a Healthy Community. Weigh-ins will be staged at the following locations:

Monday, March 1, Suffolk Heath Department, 8 a.m. to noon; Wednesday, March 3, Obici Hospital Atrium, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; YMCA, 7-10 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m.; Wal-Mart, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; North Suffolk Fire Station, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Whaleyville Recreation Center, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial to reducing the risk of cancer. Take control of your life and your health by doing the right thing.