A balanced lifestyle today lowers your cancer risk for tomorrow – CANSA
CANSA agrees with the World Cancer Research Fund’s findings indicating that if you work towards the three goals below, you will reduce your cancer risk by a third:
- Eat Smart (a wholesome, balanced diet, including what you drink)
- Maintain a healthy body weight (SA has the highest occurrence of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa, including children and teens)
- Be physically active (World Health Organisation has determined that 47 % of SA adults have insufficient levels of physical activity)
Not only will you lower your risk for several cancers, but also your risk for other non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. Read media release: English | Afrikaans
April 2018: Lorraine Govender (CANSA’s National Advocacy Co-ordinator), was interviewed by Adri Kotze (Africa Editor Centre for Health Journalism – Mail & Guardian).
CANSA was asked to respond to the Cancer Research UK’s latest research, published earlier this year, regarding lifestyle factors which could contribute to an increased cancer risk, and comment on how this pertains to South Africans. Read more…
What YOU Can Do:
1. Life is hectic – avoid making last minute trips to the local ‘fast food’ outlet, by preparing meals in advance where possible. Cook a double portion healthy, balanced meal, eat one and freeze the other.
2. Reduce your portion sizes – eat three healthy meals a day – don’t starve yourself and wolf down an enormous portion later.
3. If you didn’t prepare it right, salt will NOT make the meal taste better, only salty! Use alternate herbs to add flavour food, limiting salt to 1 tsp per day (per person…)
4. Bring ingredients home that won’t tempt you to eat unhealthily. Choose healthy snack options instead, to still the hunger pangs. If you don’t put it in the shopping cart, you’re not likely to start…
6. Do aim to eat at least 2 ½ cups of veggies / fruit per day, adding wholegrains and pulses where possible
7. Plan lunch boxes for school and work instead of buying meals at the tuckshop or canteen – find super lunch box tips here in our CANSA Smart Lunch Box Planner, which includes recipes…
8. What you drink counts too – avoid sugary drinks such as fizzy sodas and alcohol. Drink unsweetened, pure fruit juice (diluted). Increased sugar intake is linked to obesity and alcohol consumption increases your cancer risk.
9. Teach kids to prepare healthy, balanced meals from the start (instead of giving your toddler a sugary biscuit, opt for a carrot stick…)
10. Encourage your children to play physical games: hop scotch; skipping; take them to the park, or play areas designed to get them moving and strengthening their muscles. Make exercise a family affair…
12. Limit your screen time, or time on digital devices which encourages less physical activity.
Community efforts are essential in creating an environment that encourages healthy food choices and physical activity. Community members can make their voices heard in the following ways:
1. Lobby for healthier food options offered at schools, educational institutions, or in the workplace
5. Encourage events that provide the opportunity to be physically active or start or support a club which does so
6. Provide opportunities for recreation that do not revolve around sedentary, passive behaviour
7. Community members or service providers can donate play equipment encouraging the development of motor skills, or help local schools (play schools through high schools) to improve sports facilities
It’s ALWAYS time to take stock of your health.
Invest in your health now by living a balanced lifestyle.