Cancer and Obesity

Cancer and Obesity

If you haven’t seen it yet, where have you been? Plastered over the television, bus shelters and billboards around towns and cities all across England in the recent weeks has been Cancer Research UK’s new campaign to warn people of the danger of obesity when it comes to cancer.

‘OB_S_ _ Y is a cause of cancer’ reads the campaign, or as the charity put it, an advertisement. The most sobering game of hangman you’ll ever play isn’t just for fun, however. There’s a serious point to it, that obesity is linked to 13 separate forms of cancer, yet only 15% of people know that.

Cancer Research claim that breast cancer, bowel cancer, cancer of the womb and oesophagus, pancreatic cancer, kidney, liver, upper stomach cancer, gallbladder, ovarian, thyroid, myeloma and meningioma cancer are all linked to being obese.

The correlation between obesity and cancer is a stark one. Those who are obese are almost twice as likely to develop liver, kidney, upper stomach or esophageal cancer, whilst obese women are two to four times likely to develop endometrial cancer, otherwise known as cancer of the uterus lining.

The link between the two comes as a result of three things. Obesity leads to an increase in insulin, which alongside other growth factors causes cells to divide more often and results in a higher risk of these cells turning cancerous. When you have excess fat cells in the body, more specialised immune cells are sent to them to remove dead and dying cells. These immune cells release chemicals known as cytokines, which leads to inflammation. As a result of inflammation the cells divide quicker and raise the risk of cancer in the same way as an increase of insulin. In women, after the menopause oestrogen produced by fat cells leads to quicker division in the breast and womb and increases the risk of cancer in these areas, which are the two types of cancer with the closest link to obesity.

The commonly known consequences of obesity are nowhere near as severe as this. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and the risk of a heart attack or stroke are all well known to be more likely if you are carrying excess timber and despite the recent advances in the treatment and survival rate of cancer patients, the threat and fear of the words ‘you have cancer’ are still one of the most feared in the country today.

It just goes to show how important not only education is around the fact obesity can cause cancer, but how crucial it is people who are at risk of some of the most deadly cancers known, due to their weight, are made aware of the dangers of obesity.

It is crucial we tell our loved ones, our friends and family and ensure they’re telling their friends and family and make sure we spread the word of just how dangerous obesity is.

But if you are reading this and you are obese then that doesn’t mean you should panic. The risk of cancer reduces with every pound and stone you lose. Get to the gym, get on a treadmill or an exercise bike as even half an hour a day on your lunch break, after or before work can reduce your risk of becoming a cancer patient. Lose the pounds before it’s too late.

Summer Nutrition

Summer Nutrition

Whether it’s a bit of Christmas timber lingering on or the results of a successful winter bulk, it’s not unusual for us to be carrying a little bit of extra weight going into the summer months, but your diet is the perfect way to start your summer weight loss.

It may be something as simple as letting go of the takeaways, the pizzas and the chocolate bars of course, but for some it’s much more complicated than that.

For those who took on a winter bulk for some winter warmth, they could be looking at a full blown cut in calories. Firstly, work out how much weight you plan to lose and a time scale. It may be that you’re going on holiday or you’re starting a summer sport such as cricket or tennis, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to achieve your desired weight and therefore you won’t need to go without.

You must be mentally tough to make a cut. Going from say 3,000 calories to early 2000s won’t be easy for your body to cope with. Ensure you don’t make a sudden drop and gradually drop your calories, by say 150 or 200 per fortnight, so your body has more than enough time to adjust.

Any cut programme should last at least six weeks, but if you’re cutting 10 pounds or less you should aim for a cut of around 2-3 months, with 20 pounds or more 4-5 months in duration.

In summer foods like watermelon, green beans and cucumber will be readily available so try and encompass these into your diet accordingly, whilst chicken will probably be your best friend over the summer months. Fish is the next low-fat alternative and some porks can also be very low fat, whilst still providing the protein you need to train.

Cardio will also become much more of a factor in your routine opposed to the winter months so make sure you’re still getting in carbs, but you’ll still cut a percentage of those out too. The major cut of course is clearly fat, you’ll only lose weight if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, so make sure you track your calorie intake closely day by day to achieve a successful summer weight loss programme.

Mealtimes

Mealtimes

The cornerstone of any day is our meals and the times we eat. Those who go to the gym regularly often base their day around their meals and spend hours a week planning and preparing meals for the coming days. However, it could come as more than a surprise how these mealtimes arrived at their everyday names we give them today such as breakfast, lunch, dinner or tea.

As our bliss and peaceful sleep is abruptly halted by our rude alarm clocks, the sleep is still lingering in the corner of our eyes and our pyjamas are still well and truly on, we trudge down the stairs for breakfast. Breakfast is, literally, what it says on the tin.

Break-fast. The fast being the last few (but never enough, of course) hours happily asleep. Fast, coincidentally, is what the meal is designed to be. A quick meal to break the hours without food, hence why our most important meal of the day is typically a juicy ripe apple or a crunchy light cereal bar, or even a slice of toast drowned in baked beans or topped with a scrambled egg or two. Unfortunately, about 18 percent of males and 13 percent of females between the ages of 35 and 54 decide not to opt for a fry up or a bacon sarnie in the morning, according to a 2011 study by the market research company NPD group.

Moving onto what I like to call lunch, or some dinner, this derives from a time when life was much different. From Roman times to the Middle Ages, people used to get up and go to work a lot earlier and had often been grafting hard at work for six hours come midday. In the Middle Ages, deprived of watches or electricity, lunch was taken on the basis of daylight.

As man-made light became a more modern concept, lunch or dinner became a later meal and the word lunch started to become more common for the earlier meal, taken from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘nuncheon’, which meant a quick snack between meals that you can hold in your hands, often bread and cheese, the start of the sandwich.

Sandwiches take their name from the Earl of Sandwich, who used to have sandwiches as a late-night snack. However, this started to become more and more common on the lunchtime menu as workers needed something quick to eat around noon and lunch became even more prominent during the 19th century and the industrial revolution, when Britain became the first country to offer industrialised food in the form of pies to workers.

Dinner or supper, even tea to those potentially in the northern regions of the country, derives from Roman times. This was the only meal they ate all day with breakfast frowned upon. The rich and famous ate a luxurious, ravishing meal around noon, to show off if you will. As artificial light pushed this meal back, it became a meal for when the working day was over and people ate at home after a long day. As white goods became a popular purchase in the 1950s, the traditional family dinner was born as the housewife would cook ready for the husband, who’d been at work all day.

The word dinner comes from the derogatory Latin word ‘disjējūnāre’ meaning ‘to break one’s fast’ and was at first used to describe breakfast, but can be used at any time of the day to break any type of fast so is a broader word for a meal, hence the argument whether dinner is eaten as lunch or supper. Supper refers to food eaten later in the day and originates from the old French word ‘souper’ meaning ‘evening meal’, commonly used by more upper or middle class families. In contrast, ‘tea’ is traditionally eaten at around half past six and is a working class phrase.

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