Obesity and prostate cancer

Published: January, 2007

America is the land of plenty. Unfortunately, however, the good life has some bad consequences. One is obesity. The abundant supply of high-calorie foods and the labor-saving devices that enable sedentary living are the twin engines driving our obesity epidemic. At present, 30% of Americans are overweight, 30% are obese, and 5% are very obese. And if that's not enough to worry about, remember that the prevalence of obesity has increased steadily since the 1960s "" and the nation's waistline continues to grow.

Obesity has emerged as a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, and it's easy to see why. Excess body fat raises LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides while lowering HDL ("good") cholesterol. It raises blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin levels. Obesity discourages exercise and contributes to stress and depression. Since these changes all increase cardiac risk, obesity deserves a large share of the blame for heart attacks and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

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