overweight, here's one more reason to take off a few pounds.The
American Cancer Society said in a recent study that being
overweight or obese substantially increases your risk of
dying from cancer.
is especially important to truckers. John Siebert, project
manager with the OOIDA Foundation, says more than 87 percent
of truckers in an OOIDA survey were either overweight or
obese – a far greater percentage than the general population.
Eugenia Calle and her colleagues determined that being overweight
or obese may account for 20 percent of all cancer deaths
in U.S. women and 14 percent in U.S. men – affecting roughly
90,000 cancer deaths each year.
study also confirmed previous work that showed being either
overweight or obese is linked to a host of specific cancers:
cancer of the uterus, kidney, esophagus, gallbladder, colon
and rectum, and breast.
researchers speculated that obesity affects cancer by raising
the body's levels of hormones – sex hormones like estrogen,
or protein hormones like insulin, and insulin-related growth
example, folks who carry a spare tire around their waist
instead of under the trailer can be disrupting their insulin
metabolism, increasing their risk of colon cancer, among
others, Calle said.
the study, the death rate from all types of cancer combined
were 52 percent higher in the heaviest men as opposed to
men whose weight was normal. The heaviest women had cancer
death rates 62 percent higher.
not encouraging, especially when combined with Siebert's
figures on the number of heavy truckers. Of the 87.3 percent
who are either overweight or obese, he said, 37.7 percent
are overweight, 43.3 percent are obese and 6.2 percent are
the general population, the figures are much lower. While
the average American's weight sits at the line between “normal” and “overweight,” the
average trucker's poundage is right at the line between “overweight” and “obese.”
available for truckers who want to take off some weight and,
at least in part, avoid the problem. Siebert said the Department
of Transportation offers a 110-page booklet titled “Getting
in Gear: The Design, Development and Evaluation of Truck
and Bus Driver Wellness Programs.”
offers tips on nutrition, exercise, family interaction and
recreational activities to improve your wellness – “everything
that goes into making well-rounded human being,” Siebert
is something that a carrier's safety officer would use to
develop a wellness program for drivers,” he said. “It would
also be a good thing for an owner-operator with their own
authority to have in their file for safety. You have to have
a safety program.”
Cancer Society said in a statement that people could also
fight obesity by balancing calorie intake with physical activity.
group suggests eating at least five servings of fruit and
vegetables every day, choosing whole grains over processed
grains and limiting your consumption of red meat.
addition, adults should take part in at least 30 minutes
of moderate physical activity five days a week or more.
Cancer Society study was published recently in the New England
Journal of Medicine.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at email@example.com.