Unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity are risk factors in the development of a number of conditions such as hypertension, hyperglycaemia, abnormal blood lipids, and overweight/ obesity.
Globally, approximately 1.6 billion adults are overweight and at least 400 million are clinically obese (2005 data). It is expected that by 2015 these data will have risen to 2.3 billion and > 700 million, respectively.
Obesity has some well-known health consequences such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, obesity and lack of physical activity may account for 20-30% of several major cancers (colon, breast (postmenopausal), endometrial, kidney and oesophagus). Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries and pancreas.
Preventing weight gain can greatly reduce the risk of many cancers. It is therefore recommended to establish a healthy eating habit and physical activity pattern early in life to prevent overweight and obesity. Those already overweigh or obese should avoid additional weight gain and lose weight through low-calorie diet and exercise. Even a weight loss of only 5-10% can provide health benefits. Stakeholders (governments, international partners, NGOs…) should cooperate in shaping healthy environments and making healthy diet options affordable and easily accessible for all.
The UICC is committed to the implementation of strong measures against obesity and physical inactivity, through the effective implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.
Get active, move your body: only 30 minutes of physical activity per day is necessary to reduce your risk of cancer. For school aged children/ teenagers at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity is recommened for noticable health benefits.
To learn more about the benefits of physical exercise, click here!