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Prostate Cancer Risk for Obese Black Men
According to the CDC 38% of Black men are obese.
Obesity has been linked to numerous health problems in black men including heart disease and diabetes and this year another major health issue, prostate cancer, was added to this list. Black men have the highest rates of prostate cancer in the United States and possibly the world while also having some of the highest rates of obesity.
A new study published in April of this year in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology suggested a strong link between obesity and prostate cancer. They found that black men with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or lower had a 28% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to white men in the same weight group. The percentage of risk shot up to 103% when the BMI of black men was 35 or higher.
Here are three easy ways that to help you manage a healthy weight:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Eating them for snacks and at every meal decreases the amount of “bad” calories eaten while helping your body to work more efficiently. The goal should be to eat a minimum of 5-7 combined servings per day.
- Drink more water. Water is like the oil we put in our cars. When there is plenty of good oil our cars run without a hiccup but when the oil level gets low the opposite happens. It is the same way with our bodies. Studies show that a lot of people think they are hungry when they are in fact thirsty. Drinking more water can cut down on how many calories we eat per day which some experts say can result in five to ten pounds of weight loss per year.
- Exercise. The primary reason people say that you need to exercise is that it helps us burn off excess calories. Exercise is the glue that holds our health behaviors together. The days we exercise are most likely the days that we eat better, sleep better, are in better moods, etc. It is recommended that we get 150 minutes of exercise per week but more is almost always better if you can.
Even though more studies are needed to stake the claim that losing weight would help with prostate cancer rates we know that obesity plays a part in increasing the risk of getting other cancers. Instead of waiting for more studies to come out let us strive to lose weight or maintain our already healthy weight.
Brandon Howard is an ACE Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer with a degree in Fitness and Wellness from Oakwood University. He launched HowardPower Fitness LLC in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him at @HowardPowerFit and Instagram at @HowardPowerFitness .
Overweight Man —Image Source/Corbis