MPs were given the chance to measure their Body Mass Index (BMI) at the event in Parliament
Jo Swinson took a break from heavyweight politics when she had her Body Mass index (BMI) measured at an exhibition organised by Cancer Research UK in Parliament.
The charity held the parliamentary healthy living day to raise awareness of the impact of obesity in increasing a person’s cancer risk and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.
“People’s awareness over the health risks associated with obesity is increasing. However, a recent survey by Cancer Research UK found that a quarter of adults in this country think getting cancer is simply down to fate.
“It is important to recognise that there are simple steps we can all take, such as quitting smoking, exercising and eating a balanced diet, to live healthier lives and reduce our risk of developing cancer.”
Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said:
“It is a real challenge that such a large percentage of the British population do not realise that half of all cases of cancer can be prevented by lifestyle changes.
“Cancer Research UK’s Reduce the Risk Campaign aims to make people aware of the changes they could make in their daily routines to help them cut their cancer risk.
“You can maintain a healthy body weight by eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise.”
For more advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle please visitwww.reducetherisk.org.uk
• Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool to measure whether you are within a healthy weight range for your height.
• BMI is only a guide and is aimed at healthy adults. It isn’t suitable for children or older people.
• You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared (weight [kg] / height [m]2)
• A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is ok, 25-30 is overweight and 30+ would put you in the obese category. Remember that BMI is only a guide and is not suitable for children or elderly people.
• Cancer Research UK surveyed 4,000 people, a cross-section of the population.
• 27% of respondents said they thought getting cancer was because of fate; amongst the most deprived areas this figure rose to 43%; amongst the most privileged areas it fell to 14%.
• The survey also found that smokers were 50% more likely than non-smokers to believe that getting cancer was fate.
Reduce the Risk campaign
More than half of all cases of cancer can be prevented according to Cancer Research UK’s Reduce the Risk campaign, www.reducetherisk.org.uk
The campaign’s key messages are:
• Stop smoking: It’s the best present you’ll ever give yourself.
• Stay in shape: Be active and keep a healthy body weight.
• Eat and drink healthy: Limit alcohol and choose a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
• Be SunSmart: protect yourself in the sun and take care not to burn.
• Look after number one: Know your body and see your doctor about anything unusual. Go for screening when invited.