The American Cancer Society says the number of people in Nebraska and nationwide who smoke is dropping, but any health benefits are being wiped out by people who are overweight. Cancer Society spokesman Chuck Reed says you can’t trade one health risk for the other.
Reed says if you’ve made a resolution in the new year to quit smoking, that’s great, but you also need to maintain a healthy weight. “When you look a the fact that in the last 15 years we’ve seen a smoking rate decrease by 20-percent in our country and yet obesity rates have risen 48-percent, that’s a problem,” Reed says.
Being overweight leads to many health issues. He says obesity is a major cause of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and if weight problems aren’t brought under control, they wipe out health gains made but cutting smoking. Reed says a recent survey found that only 50-percent of Americans know that being overweight is linked to cancer and other diseases.
Reed says it is frightening that over half the people don’t realize that being overweight gives you a greater chance of getting cancer. Many people put on weight when the quit smoking as they replace eating with smoking. Reed says you can combat that by doing something healthy during the time that used to be your smoke break.
He says take a walk and drink more water during the break. Reed says you can eat some fruits or vegetables or other healthy food instead of replacing the cigarette with candy. Reed says you can get help and information on maintaining a health weight on the American Cancer Society website at: www.cancer.org or by calling 800-ACS-2345.