Nutrition and Physical Activity

Daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer much more than you think. Good nutrition and physical activity significantly reduces the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, mental illness, and osteoarthritis. 

Being overweight can increase cancer risk in many ways. One of the main ways is that excess weight causes the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are 2 key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented. Therefore, there are things that you can do to help eliminate some of these risks. Besides quitting smoking, some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk are:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Eat healthy foods.

Visit ADPH’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Division and Scale Back Alabama where you will be able to learn important tips and facts on how to properly eat right and be healthy.

Page last updated: December 20, 2019