Obese Boys at Higher Risk of Inflammation, Bowel Cancer

boy_eating_burgerThis month as we focus on men’s health, it is important to remember that healthy habits start early. With obesity rates rising steadily among American children, teaching our adolescent and teenage boys the value of a wholesome diet and an active lifestyle is now more important than ever, especially in light of a new report.

Researchers from the United States and Sweden recently completed an analysis of more than 240,000 boys between the ages of 16 and 20 to determine whether or not being heavier at a young age affected bowel health later in life. As it turns out, the more weight the boys carried, the higher their risk of developing bowel cancer as well as widespread inflammation.

Over a period of more than three decades, researchers monitored the boys’ height and weight as well as inflammation levels in the body and found that those who were “very overweight” or obese in young adulthood—with a BMI ranging from 27.5 to over 30—doubled their risk of developing bowel cancer in adulthood in their 50s. In addition, those with a high inflammation rate were 65% more likely to develop bowel cancer, spotlighting the relationship between chronic inflammation and disease.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and in women.i Report authors point out the importance of advocating a healthy diet and lifestyle early on to promote bowel health and wellness later in life.

i http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/

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Study: Men Who Exercise Regularly Live Longer

man-running-beachDoes your weekly routine include a daily run or a few mornings at the gym? It turns out you may be doing your body a big favor. According to a new report, just 30 minutes of physical activity each day gives older men the advantage when it comes to longevity.

The new findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, come from the long-term Oslo study, which followed more than 15,000 men born between 1923 and 1932. Throughout the study, researchers monitored the participants’ general physical health and placed them in one of four groups based on their level of daily exercise: sedentary, light exercisers, moderate exercisers, and vigorous exercisers.

Overall, researchers concluded that men in their 60s and 70s who were moderate or vigorous exercisers (getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, six days a week) tended to live about five years longer than their sedentary counterparts—and that in terms of a longer lifespan, exercise was equally beneficial to quitting smoking.

Previous studies have shown that regular exercise not only helps seniors maintain mobility later in life but also promotes heart health and helps decrease the risk of having a heart attack. In light of this new data, the research team stressed the importance of promoting daily exercise as part of an overall health strategy for elderly men.

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