New York Healthy Eating and Active Living
The Cancer Link
Obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition are major risk factors for cancer, second only to tobacco use. Approximately one in three cancer deaths can be attributed to poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity. 8.9 million New Yorkers are considered overweight or obese, along with one-third of children across the state. Total obesity-related costs in New York State are estimated at more than $11.8 billion annually. New York’s Medicaid program – funded by federal, state and local tax dollars – spends more than $4.3 billion a year as a result of obesity.
Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for several common cancers, including colon, esophageal, kidney, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer.. Nutrition
Poor nutrition and the consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages are major contributors to overweight and obesity and an increased risk of cancer. The American Cancer Society (the Society) recommends consuming a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods, in order to reduce cancer risk.
Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy body weight by balancing caloric intake with energy expenditure. Physical activity may also reduce the risk of breast, colon, endometrium, and advanced prostate cancer, independent of body weight. The Society recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week and that children and adolescents engage in at least 1 hour of moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity each day. Physical activity may often also be beneficial after a cancer diagnosis, reducing the risk of recurrence or death.
Combating the Problem
Despite the evidence linking overweight and obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity to increased cancer risk, the majority of Americans are not meeting recommended nutrition and physical activity targets. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) advocacy work on obesity, nutrition, and physical activity is focused on creating social and physical environments that support healthy, active lifestyles.
New York State Advocacy Initiatives
There are many things that every child needs in his or her community to grow up healthy.One of them is a grocery store that sells fruits and vegetables. That’s why we are fighting to make it easier for kids and families to get access to healthy foods.
Research shows that access to fresh and healthy foods is one of several factors that can contribute to better eating habits and good health, including decreased risk of diet-related diseases.
Sadly, low-income neighborhoods have 50% fewer supermarkets than the wealthiest neighborhoods. The Healthy Food and Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund can help. The fund provides grants and loans to renovate and locate supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other healthy food retailers in low and moderate income communities where residents don’t have access to fresh foods.
The Fund helped bring healthy food to 26 different communities – but we know other residents still struggle to access healthy foods. Funding is now depleted and we need your help.
New York City Schools Campaign
Physical Education in Schools:
Federal Advocacy Initiatives Affordable Care Act
This law contains several key provisions focused on prevention and wellness. ACS CAN strongly supports the implementation of and opposes any efforts to dismantle these key provisions:
- Calorie labeling of standard menu items in chain restaurants and similar venues and of food and beverage items in certain vending machines.
- Coverage of preventive health services, including obesity screening and counseling and behavioral interventions for weight loss, with no cost sharing through private insurance plans in the new health insurance exchanges and Medicare, and an incentive for states to cover them in Medicaid.
- The Prevention and Public Health Fund, providing $15 billion through 2019 and $2 billion every year thereafter for prevention, wellness, and public health activities. To date, a significant portion of this money has been spent on community-based initiatives focused on making community, school, and worksite environments healthierA National Prevention Strategy, created by the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, composed of senior officials from numerous government agencies, with input from an advisory committee of non-government.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
- This law includes a number of provisions focused on improving school nutrition and wellness, which ACS CAN strongly supports:
- Updated national nutrition standards for school meals, coupled with increased federal reimbursement;
- National nutrition standards for foods sold in schools during the school day outside of the school meal programs, including those in vending machines, school stores, and sold a la carte;
- Strengthened local school wellness policies that require school districts to set goals for physical activity, nutrition education and promotion, and foods sold outside of meal programs.