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.