"Eating healthy food and getting regular exercise from a young age are important ways to stay fit and reduce your risk of getting cancer later in life,” says Sue Janse van Rensburg, CANSA National Executive Director. “As being overweight or obese can lead to cancer, children should be encouraged to balance food and drink choices with physical activity."
"The environment in which children grow up - at home, in school, and in the community powerfully influences their choices and behaviour," said Janse van Rensburg. That is why CANSA calls on families, health professionals and educators to promote health and help prevent cancer by pushing for healthy active lifestyles. Over 80 000 South Africans die from cancer every year.
Increased rate of obesity
According to the World Health Organization, more adults and children are overweight or obese, with 1 billion adults overweight, and at least 300 million of them clinically obese.
Estimates are that one out of every 10 school-age children is overweight. Of those, around 30-45 million are classified as obese accounting for 2-3% of the worlds children aged 5-17.
Dietary factors, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity are estimated to account for approximately 30% of cancers in Western countries, making diet and physical activity second only to tobacco as a preventable cause of cancer. This proportion is thought to be about 20% in developing countries and is projected to grow.
Healthy tips for the family
- Choose low fat high-fibre foods (whole grain bread, oats, braai pap, sorghum, beans, brown rice)
- Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Drink clean water, diluted unsweetened fruit juice, low-fat milk, herbal tea
- Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Limit watching television or computer games
- Walk, jog or play ball games with your children
- Park further from the shopping centre entrance
- Encourage your children to play a sport at school
CANSA will host a variety of activities for World Cancer Day. See www.cansa.org.za or call 0800 22 66 22 for more information.
For more information or interviews, please email Martha Molete Head: Communication
tel 011 616 7662 or
083 399 5934.
This release is also available in Afrikaans.