Obesity and Prostate Cancer
Obesity and Prostate Cancer

In this section of the website, we'll look at the different food types and discuss which nutrients are most likely to be "prostate-cancer protective." But before we do, we need to address the most crucial dietary problem of all—the fattening of America.

Over the past 40 years, the rate of obesity has been steadily climbing. In 2002, the last year for which the data are available, a whopping 65% of adults in the United States were classified as overweight or obese, with a body mass index (BMI) over the accepted normal of 25. Even more disturbing is that 31% of children were classified as overweight or obese, placing them well above the 95th percentile for normal growth for their age.

Unfortunately, this increase in weight seems unlikely to be offset by an increase in physical activity, as approximately 40% of adults and teenagers do not exercise regularly. The combination of increased food intake and decreased physical activity has taken its toll on Americans and has resulted in increased rates of a variety of diseases, particularly diabetes.

Although the link between obesity and the risk of developing prostate cancer remains unclear, there is no question that obesity can have a negative effect on disease outcomes. Research has shown that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test results in obese men can be lower despite the presence of disease, potentially leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment; recovery from surgery tends to be longer and more difficult; and the risk of dying from prostate cancer can be higher.

Regardless of the nutritional approach that you ultimately choose, weight management must be an essential component of your overall strategy. Increasing your intake of vegetables can be beneficial—but not if they’re swimming in high-fat dressings or sauces. Similarly, nuts can be a great source of some key nutrients but can also be very high in fat and calories.

In addition, it is most important that you be sure to exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes a day at least 3 days each week. Not only will it help to burn off extra calories, but regular stretching exercises will help keep you limber and flexible, while resistance exercises and weight training will help maintain muscle strength and endurance. Walking, jogging, playing tennis or golf, and even gardening can be effective forms of exercise—the key is to stay on the go and stay off the couch.

As you sift through the data on this site and begin to consider what's right for you, don't forget to talk with your doctor or qualified nutritional consultant about how best to incorporate weight management and exercise strategies into your daily routine.
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