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Health - Cancer Relief: Huntingdon MP Spins Wheel of Life


26th January 2006

Jonathan Djanogly indulged in a touch of 'spin' as he helped promote a Cancer Research UK.

Jonathan Djanogly MP indulged in a touch of 'spin' as he helped promote a Cancer Research UK drive to highlight ways in which cancer can be prevented through changes to lifestyle.

The Hon. Member for Huntingdon played the Wheel of Life at a special healthy living day at the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Wednesday January 25).

The event helped launch the second year of Cancer Research UK's Reduce the Risk campaign to MPs. Reduce the Risk aims to raise awareness of the avoidable risks of cancer and the importance of early detection.

The Wheel of Life is a fun way to find out about the risks and benefits of different behaviours such as eating healthily, smoking or sunbathing. Players are awarded points based on where the wheel stops; for example, you can lose 500 points for being a heavy smoker but win back 200 for swapping your pie for a healthy alternative!

Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK said: "Our Reduce the Risk campaign highlights five important ways you can lower your cancer risk including stopping smoking, staying in shape, eating and drinking healthily, being SunSmart and reporting anything unusual to your doctor.

One of the biggest known preventable causes of cancer in non-smokers is obesity and Cancer Research UK has joined forces with the charity Weight Concern to develop Ten Top Tips - a set of weight management guidelines that can be incorporated into everyday routines without radical lifestyle change. The scientifically-based programme involves adopting 10 simple steps and using a weekly checklist to monitor progress and help reinforce the new habits.

Speaking at the event, supported by the on-site gym and refreshment department of the Houses of Parliament, Jonathan Djanogly said: "Half of all cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes so it is in our own interests that we each do all we can to reduce our risk. The Ten Top Tips programme is a great way to lose weight and keep it off. Many of us make resolutions to lose weight and get fit in January; Ten Top Tips can help you make that a reality."

The tips themselves are as follows:

1) Keep to your meal routineTry to eat at roughly the same times each day, whether this is two or five times a day.

2) Go reduced fatChoose reduced fat versions of foods such as dairy products, spreads and salad dressings where you can. Use them sparingly as some can still be high in fat.

3) Walk off the weightWalk 10,000 steps (equivalent to 60-90 minutes moderate activity) each day. You can use a pedometer to help count the steps. You can break-up your walking throughout the day.

4) Pack a healthy snackIf you snack, choose a healthy option such as fresh fruit or low calorie yogurts instead of chocolate or crisps.

5) Look at the labelsBe careful about food claims. Check the fat and sugar content on food labels when shopping and preparing food.

6) Caution with your portionsDon't heap food on your plate (except vegetables). Think twice before having second helpings.

7) Up on your feetBreak up your sitting time. Stand up for ten minutes out of every hour.

8) Think about your drinksChoose water or sugar-free squashes. Unsweetened fruit juice is high in natural sugar so limit it to 1 glass per day (200ml/ 1/3 pint). Alcohol is high in calories. Try to limit the amount you drink.

9) Focus on your foodSlow down. Don't eat on the go or while watching TV. Eat at a table if possible.

10) Don't forget your 5 a dayEat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (400g in total).

For more information on Cancer Research UK's Reduce the Risk campaign, visit www.reducetherisk.org.uk

NOTES

Visit www.reducetherisk.org.uk to request a free leaflet containing the Ten Top Tips programme. You will find more information about the Ten Top Tips and further healthy choices that could reduce your risk of cancer.

The Ten Top Tips were compiled using the latest scientific evidence for individual behaviour change. The tips were evaluated along with the associated tracking tool by a group of volunteers over an 8-week period in 2005. The tracking tool is a week-long calendar allowing participants to tick off the tips that are successfully completed, helping to reinforce new healthy habits. For further details of the evidence base and trial, visit www.weightconcern.org.uk.

Being obese or overweight is one of the most significant preventable causes of cancer in non-smokers yet rates of obesity are increasing. Obesity is linked with an increased risk of bowel, kidney, oesophageal, stomach and womb cancers, as well as breast cancer in post-menopausal women.Cancer Research UK's vision is to conquer cancer through world-class research. The charity works alone and in partnership with others to carry out research into the biology and causes of cancer, to develop effective treatments, improve the quality of life for cancer patients, reduce the number of people getting cancer and to provide authoritative information on cancer. Cancer Research UK is the world's leading independent charity dedicated to research on the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer. For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 08701 602040 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.orgWeight Concern is a UK charity committed to researching and developing effective, evidence-based treatments for childhood and adult obesity. The charity also provides education and training for health professionals in techniques to help support people who want to control their weight.

Weight Concern has a leading reputation in the field of overweight and obesity and is staffed by clinical psychologists, clinical and research dietitians and behavioural experts. For further information about Weight Concern's work visit www.weightconcern.org.uk or e-mail enquiries@weightconcern.org.uk.

For media enquiries about Weight Concern only, please contact Caroline Swain on 020 7679 1796."

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