Childhood obesity is often cited as a leading problem in America, and with nearly 1 in 3 children being overweight or obese, it’s easy to see why. Overweight children are at a higher risk for developing serious illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. And now there is yet another reason to address childhood obesity early—colon cancer.
Colon Cancer And Childhood Obesity
There is a direct link between men who were obese during their childhood and men who contracted colon cancer later in life. Research shows that an overweight boy is 50% more likely to get colon cancer as an adult than other boys in a healthy weight range. Additionally, men who were overweight as children and carried the problem into their young adult life were twice as likely to get colon cancer than their healthy weight peers.
Decreasing The Risk
The good news is that men who were overweight as children but lost the weight as young men did decrease their risk of getting colon cancer. In fact, the chances were the same as those of a man who had never been overweight, so losing the weight, in essence, made the increased risk disappear. If you have an overweight child, this is strong incentive to take the problem seriously and help him lose the weight. In doing so, you will help minimize the risk of colon cancer as well as other obesity-associated illnesses.
Other Tips For Colon Health
In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, there are other things you can do to help protect your colon.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and grains – These contain nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent cancer.
- General health – A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise are always recommended for help in prevention of serious illness. Plus, this will help in your weight loss efforts.
- Stop smoking – Talk to your doctor about possible strategies if you are having trouble quitting.
- Screenings – Everyone should have a baseline colonoscopy at age 50 and every 10 years after if the baseline colonoscopy is clear. If you have a family history of colon cancer, don’t wait until age 50 to discuss it with your doctor. She may recommend you have a screening earlier.
It is clear that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight will go a long way in helping decrease your risk for colon cancer. If you are a young man who has been overweight since you were a child, or if you have since lost the weight and are wondering about the lasting effects, talk to your doctor about your potential risk for colon cancer. Vanguard Gastro is here to help and we are proud to offer a weight management program. The Kips Bay Integrative Weight Management Program is one of the first programs to merge weight loss with on-demand cutting edge technology, making nutrition and fitness counseling convenient and flexible. This is comprised of our innovative at home online guided exercise activities and monthly nutritional visits. You can make an appointment today at any of our convenient locations.