ACS CAN Applauds Administration Initiative to Combat Americans ' Poor Nutrition and Excess Weight

January 29, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 29, 2010 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released the following statement in response to the announcement of a “Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation,” a new initiative by First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Surgeon General to combat Americans’ poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and excess weight.

“Approximately one-third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity and excess weight. In the past 20 years, the number of obese adults in the U.S. has doubled and the number of overweight children has tripled. In fact, currently two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese - a large portion of whom are not physically active. This health crisis threatens to reverse the gains that have been made in the prevention of cancer.

“Cancers due to poor nutrition, physical activity and excess weight could be prevented. Substantial structural, economic, social and cultural barriers prevent many individuals from living a healthy lifestyle. An evidence-based, comprehensive approach that includes action in all sectors of our society is necessary to turn the tide on this epidemic.

“ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policies and programs that promote cancer prevention. Our efforts focus on creating healthier schools by promoting comprehensive health and physical education, nutrition standards for food and beverages served in schools and the removal of low-nutrient or ‘junk’ food from schools; for healthier communities by promoting increased access to affordable healthy food options and safe, convenient places for physical activity; and for enhanced health services, behavioral, surveillance and evaluation research to identify and advance the most effective interventions and policies to defeat these risk factors for cancer.

“The American Cancer Society publishes nutrition and physical activity guidelines every five years for Americans. The Society works to educate the general public, cancer patients and survivors on how best to reduce their risk of cancer or recurrence through their dietary and physical activity habits. Additionally, the Society promotes healthy workplace environments through its Workplace Solutions program.

“ACS CAN looks forward to working with the First Lady, Secretary Sebelius and Surgeon General Benjamin to make our nation healthier, with less cancer and more birthdays.”

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing nearly $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Christina Saull
(202) 585-3250
[email protected]

Steven Weiss
(202) 661-5711
[email protected]


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