Posts Tagged ‘food’

Weight management

When you remain a normal weight or try to do so, you can reduce the risk of many illnesses. The main measures for weight monitoring is the Body Mass Index  (BMI) and waist circumference.

According to research, weight management, healthy nutrition and sufficient exercise can help prevent at least a third of the most common cancers.

The majority of Finns are overweight, even though the prevalence of overweight is decreasing.  Our weight tells us when we are getting more energy from food and drink than we use. This nowadays goes unnoticed, as we spend a large part of each day sitting at work, at home and in vehicles.  So there is not enough movement in relation to the amount of energy from we get from food and drink.

What cancer does being overweight cause?

Overweight and excess fat around the waist increase the risk of illness

  • breast cancer (postmenopausal)
  • cancer of the colon and rectum
  • cervical cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • oesophageal cancer
  • kidney cancer

Overweight and obesity possibly also increase the risk of gall bladder cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, and aggressive prostate cancer.

“We spend a large part of each day sitting at work, at home and in vehicles.”

As the BMI increases the risk of cancer risk increases according to the type of cancer type. When BMI exceeds the obesity limit (BMI> 30), the risk of cancer increases significantly, by about one-fifth compared to the normal weight (BMI <25). Severe obesity (BMI> 40) is associated with a more than 1.5 times higher risk of developing cancer.

The link between cancer and obesity is complex. However, we can say that the more people have fat in their body, especially around the waist, the greater their risk of having certain cancers.


Some eating habits, such as eating plenty of vegetables, reduce the risk of cancer, while others, such as using a lot of meat products, increase it.

Diet is a whole entity that is made up of individual, everyday choices. Even small decisions are accentuated in the long run.

It is ultimately difficult to estimate the degree to which having a healthy diet can prevent cancer, or how far unhealthy eating furthers the development of cancer. Eating involves many things, from food ingredients to eating habits and weight management. Calculating these things together is not straightforward.

However, experts have estimated that, by and large, with healthy food, weight management, and enough exercise we can prevent at least a third of the most common forms of cancer. Healthy eating also protects against many illnesses and helps you manage better day-to-day.

What kind of cancer does food protects us from, and what kind does it cause?

What and how we eat is linked to many cancer risks.

Eating affects the risk of cancer through many different mechanisms:

  • Some nutritional factors, such as meat products, can place one at risk of cancer
  • Carcinogens may be present in food due to contamination or impurities, for instance some aflatoxins, produced by moulds, that may also be in such things as nuts
  • Carcinogenic compounds may develop in food preparation, such as frying
  • Absent or insufficient nutritional factors in diet that protect against cancer, such as vegetables
  • Overweight increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Nutrition is an essential factor in weigh management
  • Your overall diet is nevertheless more essential than single nutrients.