Obesity is a condition in which a person has an unhealthy amount of body fat. Obesity is calculated through the means of the body mass index system. This system uses weight and height to calculate a number which defines whether a person is under weight, of a healthy weight or overweight/obese. The National Health and Nutritional Health survey, acquired data showing that from years 2011-2014 70% of Americans over the age of 20 were overweight, along with 36.5% of them being obese. (Obesity and Cancer). When the majority of adults in America are obese/overweight health problems are inevitable.
Despite that many studies have been done to link obesity with cancer, the data can be difficult to interpret making it hard to strictly connect obesity to cancer. Although a direct link can not be determined, many factors relate obesity to the growth of cancerous cells. When a person is obese they have a chronic low level of inflammation which overtime can damage DNA leading to cancerous cell growth (Obesity and Cancer). Along with that, fat tissues produce surplus amounts of estrogen which can connect obesity to breast and ovarian cancers (Obesity and Cancer). Obese people have increased insulin and IGF-1 which is an insulin like growth factor in their bloodstream that also triggers the development of colon, kidney, prostate and endometrial cancers (Obesity and Cancer). With obesity being related to 13 different types of cancers, these cancers make up 40% of diagnoses (Vital Signs). Although genetics do play a role in weight, obesity does not occur in a healthy lifestyle. People who are obese tend to have bad eating habits and lack motivation to exercise.
These unhealthy habits cause the body to react, increasing the risks of cancers such as breast, colon and rectum, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, non-hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cervix, ovary and prostate. Therefore this capstone project was developed to present a solution for obesity linked cancers. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death all around the world. World wide cancer deaths are expected to increase by 60% by 2030 (Cancer Statistics). Although only around 40% of cancer cases are weight related, making a change surrounding obesity could lower the amount of cancer casualties. Preventing obesity is one of the many things America struggles with. Within the past 40 years the percentage of obese/overweight people has tripled.
The rapid growth of obese people is not only drastic but it is fatal.Cancer is just one of the many things obesity can lead to, it can also lead to strokes, heart disease and diabetes. Yet through much research it has become apparent that there is no one solution into fixing the obesity epidemic, but things such as exercise and diet, surgery and education are possible solutions into fixing it.The most common solution that comes to mind when losing weight or even preventing weight gain is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. When a person exercises regularly they are burning off calories that they once ingested.
Glycogen is stored in the body as carbohydrates in the muscles and liver. When the blood sugar level lowers while exercising the glycogen is broken down into glucose which the body will use to fuel itself prompting weightloss (Le 2017). Exercise not only promotes weight loss but it also prompts better mood and better overall health. Diet also plays a huge role in weightloss and weight maitenence. When a person eats a high sugar diet the body tries to regulate blood sugar levels by releasing insulin. Once the insulin has regulated the blood sugar levels, the blood sugar drops again leaving someone to feel tired and sluggish. Not only does high sugar intake effect mood similar to exercise, but it can also cause insulin resistance which leads diabetes.
(Martuana 2015) Lastly a bad diet full of execess sugar menas extra calories which leads to weight gain. When eating an unhealthy diet it can be inferred that the body isnt recieving good amounts of the nutrients it needs which can lead to malnutrition. On the other hand, when the body recieves the proper foods with high protein and fiber a person will be fuller for longer and well nurished. With this feeling of satisfaction they will most likely not over eat helping them maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. The major disadvantage to the solution of exercising and a healthy diet inorder to prevent obesity is that into todays day in age unhealthy food is more accessible than ever before. In America alone there are 50,000 fast food chains. These chains that are fast,cheap, efficient, casual and convenient have over 25% of Americans eating there on a daily basis. (Palo Alto 2015).
Not only are fast food resteraunts at e very corner but they are continuously advertising. Mcdonalds alone spends 2.7 more on advertisement than all fruit, vegetable, bottled water and milk companies spend combined. (Yale University)With the convience and speed of the fast food industry along with their persistant advertisement tactics eating healthy can become harder than it sounds, making this solution not as effective as others. Another possible solution is weightloss surgeries. Weightloss surgeries are used to help people who are severely obese get a foot in the door to losing weight.
Bariatric surgery is the surgery used in weight loss when the stomach is made smaller and sometimes the small intestine. There are three variations of this surgery, gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric band. In the gastric sleeve surgery the doctor removes most of your stomach leaving a banana shaped section that is stapled together.(Types of Bariatric Surgeries) This reduces the amount of food someone can intake because the stomach is significantly smaller. Bacteria in the gut also may be effected causing changes in appetite and metabolism. In gastric bypass surgery the surgeon staples the upper part of the stomach creating a pouch. After that is done the surgeon cuts the lower part of the small intestine and connects it to the ouch previously made. This surgery not only get someone fuller longer but the body also absorbs fewer calories.
(Types of bariatric Surgeries)Lastly, in the gastric band surgery the surgeon puts a ring with a baloon-like band around the top of the stomach which creates a small pouch, this makes someoe feel full after eating a small amount of food. (Types of Bariatric Surgeries). There are many benefits to these surgeries, for example it can prevent many health problems related to obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Not only that but most people say that after surgery they live a better quality of life because they can move around easier. Despite all the positive effects of getting any of these surgeries there are many possible side effects. The side efects that are pissble post surgery are bleeding, infection, leaking from the sections cut, diarrhea and blood clots. The body can also fail to absorb nutrients, develop stricures and hernias afetr surgery (Bariatric surgery side effects).Not only do these surgeries have many possible side effects but a major side effect is weight gain. Despite that most of these surgeries alter stomach size surpressing appetite, a life style change needs to be made. A person who still leads an unhealthy life style with this surgery makes it uneffective.
Although the solution of surgery is beneifical it has many side effects and does not prevent obesity as a whole. The best possible solution to stop and prevent obesity and its connection to cancer is education. Education further than a health class in school, yet as society change in where advertisement for fruits and vegetables are more common than fast food.
Once people are educated about the food they eat and how the body metabolizes it they will most likely want to lead a healthier lifestyle. If a person knew what disruption a fast food meal did to the body in comparison to what miracles whole foods did to the body despite the convenience and the speed, whole foods would sound like the better option. Educating the people on how food really affects your body and determines your health and even your risk at getting cancer could truly open minds and get people to understand how detrimental diet and exercise really is. Educating people about health and wellness is the best solution because it is a prevention strategy. If people are educated about how to eat and exercise properly that beats obesity in its tracks. With other solutions such as surgeries, or crash dieting or exercising when the weight is already put on the person is already at risk. Despite all other options the root of the obesity problem is a lack of health and wellness education, leading people to make the wrong lifestyle choices. If health education is implicated world wide in the proper way, the human population will live a more healthy, long lasting life.
From birth to death health education should be a priority. When educated properly, a person would never want to eat the processed food the industry creates, keeping them in shape and at a healthy weight. Avoiding obesity as a whole will not only decrease the chance at developing a form of cancer but it will also decrease the chance of other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Obesity is a serious problem in the United States and not only is it an unhealthy way to live life, but it is fatal.
Obesity is linked to several types of cancers and in order to prevent/decrease chances of cancer obesity must be eliminated in America. Although no one thing can stop the obesity epidemic in America, education is a crucial factor in a healthy lifestyle. Not done the conclusion.