Teens and colon can­cer

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH -

Teenagers who were over­weight at 17 were at sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased risk for devel­op­ing colon can­cer later in adult­hood, and those who were obese were at in­creased risk for rec­tal can­cer as well, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port. The study looked at nearly 2 mil­lion young Jewish Is­raelis who were weighed be­tween 1967 and 2002, be­fore in­duc­tion to the Is­raeli army. Their weights were later checked against Is­rael’s na­tional can­cer reg­istry. Obe­sity is a known risk fac­tor for colon can­cer, but ear­lier stud­ies have re­ported mixed re­sults about whether be­ing over­weight dur­ing ado­les­cence con­fers a risk. But while many of the ear­lier stud­ies re­lied on re­called or self-re­ported body weight, the new study used ac­tual weight mea­sure­ments dur­ing health ex­ams, said Dr. Gi­lad Twig, one of the study’s au­thors and a physi­cian with the Is­rael De­fense Forces. The anal­y­sis, pub­lished in the jour­nal Can­cer, in­cluded just over 1 mil­lion males and 707,212 fe­males. Over a me­dian fol­lowup of 23 years, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors iden­ti­fied 1,977 cases of colon and rec­tal can­cer among the men, and 990 cases among the women. “Even if you are per­fectly healthy at 17, but you are over­weight or obese, we saw pretty much a 50 per cent in­creased risk of can­cer,” Twig said. “This should be a red flag for fight­ing ado­les­cent obe­sity.”

The ben­e­fits of own­ing a dog

Just how good is dog walk­ing for you? Older dog own­ers who walked their dogs at least once a day got 20 per cent more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity than peo­ple with­out dogs, a Bri­tish study found, and spent 30 fewer min­utes a day be­ing seden­tary, on av­er­age. Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise has well-known ben­e­fits for health and longevity. For the study, pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Com­mu­nity Health, re­searchers used data from 3,123 men and women, me­dian age around 70, liv­ing in Nor­folk, who wore an ac­tiv­ity mon­i­tor for seven days. The data recorded was cross-checked against me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion. All par­tic­i­pants tended to be less ac­tive on short win­ter days when it was cold and wet. But reg­u­lar dog walk­ers ex­pe­ri­enced less of a dip in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and got more ex­er­cise on bad weather days than those who were not dog own­ers did on the warm­est days of the year. “There might be two-way causal­ity here, where peo­ple who want to be phys­i­cally ac­tive get dogs,” said Andy Jones, a pro­fes­sor of pub­lic health at the Univer­sity of East Anglia and the study’s se­nior au­thor. “But qual­i­ta­tive stud­ies have shown that hav­ing a dog gives you in­cen­tive to get out, when the eas­ier op­tion is to stay in­doors.”


Peo­ple who walked their dogs at least once a day got 20 per cent more ex­er­cise than those with­out dogs.

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