Monday, July 04, 2005

Survey: Most Men Unaware Of Obesity and Cancer Risk Link

A new survey conducted by Cancer Research UK discovered that nearly one in four British men are completely oblivious to the fact that they are overweight or obese and two out of three of them did not know they were at a higher risk of getting cancer by being overweight or obese.

Although 65 percent of adult men in the UK are overweight or obese, only 40 percent of the 2,000 men surveyed considered themselves to be in one of those categories. The survey concludes these men are "in denial" about their weight problem.

This is not surprising to me in the least. As a former 410-pound man who has denied having a problem with my weight, I understand this mentality. You don't want to believe you have a "problem" so you rationalize it in your own mind that you don't. That may sound like a bunch of psycho-babble nonsense, but you can literally trick yourself into thinking you are fine with your weight when you are not. It is something every single overweight and obese person has to face when they examine themselves.

Some choose to admit their problem and seek out ways to change. Others might admit they have a weight problem, but feel like they have tried and failed on everything that they have just given up. Still others don't know or don't care that they are overweight or obese. They surmise that it is nobody's business what they weigh as long as they are happy with themselves. But even that's a lie because I don't know too many happy fat people. In fact, recent studies show obese people are at greater risk for becoming suicidal. That doesn't sound like someone who is content with their life to me!

Additionally, three-fourths of the men questioned did not realize being inactive made you more susceptible to getting cancer. Two-thirds of respondents had no idea that being overweight or obese also makes you more likely to develop cancer.

Exercise is an absolute must for anyone trying to lose weight and prevent cancer. The sooner we can inform the public that hitting the gym is a lot better for them than hitting the doughnut shop, the better off the entire world will be in regards to their health.

To remedy the obesity problem, the so-called "experts" recommend (you guessed it!) a "balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables," to eat foods that are "low in sugar and fat," and to "be more active."

There's that "balanced" word again. Does anyone really know what the heck that means? As someone who is livin' la vida low-carb, I get plenty of nutritional value in the foods I eat, which include many fruits and veggies.

The danger of eating too much fruit though is overloading your body with more sugar than it needs. Therefore, eating less sugar as they recommend should also mean fruit. As for cutting fat, the fact is your body needs lots of fat to enable your body to burn stored fat. If this seem confusing to you, then I encourage you to read more about what the low-carb lifestyle is all about in this excellent book.

The survey found that 22 percent of the survey respondents eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables daily and 34 percent get the minimum of at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate exercise each week.

It goes without saying that people need to make better healthy living choices for themselves. That includes eating better foods and moving their bodies a little more than from their couch to the bed every night. Life needs to be enjoyed and it can be when we start doing what is right for ourselves. That will make you feel better physically, emotionally and spiritually. Trust me, I've seen all three of these changes for myself!

The "experts" conclude that men are not concerned enough about their health to prevent cancer from developing in them and that needs to change.

As a result, Cancer Center UK used this survey to help launch their new "Man Alive Campaign" to help educate the male British population about their risk for cancer.

What an excellent idea! The public needs to be given all the facts about healthy living, though, and not just another failed government recommendation. Our fellow low-carbers in the UK need to voice their support for the low-carb lifestyle as a healthy alternative to losing weight and improved health.

Some of the cancer-related information tied to obesity includes more than 40,000 new cases of cancer in the UK annually, bowel cancer risk increased by 60 percent, and double the risk of kidney, oesophaeal and stomach cancer as well as bladder cancer.

The "experts" again conclude that a "good diet and regular exercise" will reduce these risks.

Since 1995, the obesity rate among men in the UK has grown by 66 percent, according to Cancer Research UK's Health Behavior Unit. They said British women also deal with excessive weight, but reveal the fact that more of them are already aware of their problem.

"Men need to be made aware of the problem, know how to fix the problem and be given the support to succeed. Only then will they reduce their risk of cancer."

I'll admit that most overweight or obese guys don't give a rip about their weight problem. At least they're not attached emotionally to it like many women are. While women may be more aware of their weight issues, too often they can make dieting their obsession and fail to make the changes needed to lose weight. Men, on the other hand, need to overcome their apathy and start doing something before it is too late. What's it gonna take for them to finally wake up from their sleeping slumber while they destroy themselves from the inside?!

Cancer Research UK Director of Information Dr. Lesley Walker said the education process about how men can lower their risk for cancer needs to begin immediately.

"In men who don't smoke, obesity is one of the biggest known causes of preventable cancer," Walker noted. "With rates of obesity for UK men growing faster than anywhere else in Europe, we are sounding a wake up call to all men and their partners to become more active, eat healthier diets and make sensible lifestyle choices."

Since obesity has been so clearly shown to be linked to cancer, it should be priority number one for anyone and everyone who even THINKS they may have a weight problem to resolve to do something about it immediately. If you have tried and failed on a "balanced" diet of cutting your fat, calories and portion sizes, might I suggest you try the low-carb approach to eating? It may be just the lifestyle change you have been looking for. It helped me lose 180 pounds and turned my life upside down for the better! The same can happen for you, too!


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