Ten to Go: Is there a link between obesity and cancer in children?

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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. And it is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Although relatively rare, children are diagnosed with cancer every year. This is a harsh reality that no parent wants to hear. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among children. This year, more than 10,000 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

There is a correlation between obesity and cancer in adults. But we don’t know whether poor diets raise the risk of cancer in children the same as they do for adults.

When we think of poor dieting or nutrition in children, we must question our choices as adults and parents. Prevention of obesity in children begins at home.

Today’s eating habits too often revolve around fatty, pre-packaged convenience food. And portion control is a long lost tradition. Both of these contribute to childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity not only increases the risk for serious health conditions, it can cause major self-esteem problems. Children who are overweight are more likely to develop eating disorders, depression and a heightened risk of substance abuse.

Now that you’re aware, it is time to think prevention. I challenge each of you to make healthy eating and exercise a family affair starting now. 

Demond Johnson

The author, Demond Johnson, is a retired combat veteran who coordinated the U.S. Army’s Weight Control Program. He owns A2 Fitness Professionals. Contact him at demond@a2fitnesspro.com or 734-222-5080.