A recent report on obesity released by US Surgeon
General Dr. David Satcher said that about 300,000 people in the United States
die each year from diseases related directly to being overweight, including
heart disease and cancer.
The report, entitled "The Surgeon General’s
Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity," outlined
strategies that communities can use in helping to address the problem. Those
options include requiring physical education at all school grades, providing
more healthy food options on school campuses, and providing safe and accessible
recreational facilities for residents of all ages. The report links being
overweight or obese with an increased risk for some types of cancer including
endometrial, colon, gall bladder, prostate, kidney, and postmenopausal breast
cancer. Women gaining more than 20 lb from age 18 to midlife double their risk
of postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women whose weight remains stable.