Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tipping the Scales

The scales are once again tipping in Alabama's favor - or rather, not in our favor. According to a report released by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, our state once again ranks in the top 10 of our nation's fattest states.

Alabama weighs in at fourth for high adult obesity rates, behind Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia. Michigan rounded out the top five, and fellow Southern states Arkansas, South Carolina and Kentucky also made appearances in the top 10.

Obesity is a major risk factors for many diseases, including cancer. It accounts for nearly 30 percent of cases of the major cancers, including postmenopausal breast and colorectal cancers. It also poses a greater risk for endometrial, kidney, pancreatic and esophageal cancers.

Because of our location in the heart of the Deep South, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has identified obesity and its connection to cancer a major research priority going forward. Our scientists are examining obesity from the cellular level to the population level, as we are leading studies enrolling hundreds of thousands of patients across the country to examine the roles that diet, nutrition and physical activity play in this epidemic.

More information about healthy eating can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov. I encourage you to learn more and help us make a difference.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

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