Old adage from the world of Natural Healing:
“Disease loves obesity; it gives it a place to breed.”
Did you watch 60 Minutes this past Sunday night with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting on “Is Sugar Toxic“? In a classic piece of damning investigation, Dr. Gupta slammed “Big Sugar” for most of the ills that plague modern mankind.
Just what does sugar do?
- It fuels obesity, the biggest epidemic worldwide and particularly here in America right now.
- It fuels cardiovascular disease, perhaps more so than fatty foods
- But worst of all, IT FUELS CANCER!
Several cancers are linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle of little or no exercise. Cancer reports rose every year from 1999 through 2008, even with improved screening and a sharp decline in cigarette smokers.
Rates of cancers of the kidney, pancreas, lower esophagus and uterus have increased annually through 2008 (the latest data available) according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.
Breast cancer in women at least 50 years old declined marginally by 1.3% annually from 1999 to 2005, but suddenly jumped between 2006 and 2008. (I think this can be attributed to an overload of consuming cancer-causing melted cheese pizzas and Starbucks Frappucinos loaded with sugar, milk and whipped cream.)
These grim statistics add to a fast-growing body of evidence that obesity raises the risk of cancer. As many as one-third of common cancers in the industrialized world are linked directly to excess weight and a chronic lack of physical activity, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Obesity rates have skyrocketed in the U.S. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 68.8% of the entire US population is overweight or worse, obese. This is where the cancers associated with eating and weight gain are breeding like wild-fire, such as Breast and Colo-rectal cancer, as well as less common ones, such as Pancreatic cancer, which is what killed Steve Jobs of Apple.
Excess weight can also decrease the chance of survival once a patient is diagnosed with cancer. The burden is “pretty substantial”, says Dr Marcus Plescia, Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CDC.
The evidence of a casual link with cancer is far clearer with excess weight and lack of physical activity, than with diet says Dr Plescia.
“People might think they can do themselves the most good by taking a vitamin pill, when actually what they need to do, to do the most good, is to be far more physically active and control their weight,” said June Steens, head of the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The rising rates contrast with the progress made in recent years against major killers such as Lung cancer, scientists say. While tobacco use has plummeted since the 1960’s, Obesity has soared, with no tailing off in sight, or projected.
What does this hold for the future? It’s grim, to say the least.
Thirty years ago, Dr Sook Kim, the wonderful old Korean doctor who mentored me during my own personal fight with cancer, was saying the same thing as June Steens:
“Exercise is the best vitamin pill you can take. And God gives it to you for free!”