Putting off the kilos

Although the link between cancer and obesity is more than proven scientifically, it seems that people still don't recognise the importance of reducing kilos in order to lengthen life. While in the so-called Third World, people continue to die of hunger, in the more developed nations the grim reaper grabs hold of fat and ends many lives ahead of time.

The medical director of oncology at the Carlos Haya and Clínico hospitals in Malaga, Emilio Alba, spelt it out a few weeks ago; obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer worldwide.

Many of those tumours could be avoided by eating healthier food and doing more exercise to reduce weight and calories. The problem is that many people don't lift a finger and stuff themselves with fattening products. Based on the data we have available, being sedentary kills more often than going to war. Those who spend their days stuck on the sofa are much more at risk of suffering from cancer, a heart complication or a metabolic disorder. They are cannon fodder for illnesses that could be avoided.

Our organism, a perfect machine indeed, is constantly under attack from our own imperfections. By going against advice we are doing it no favours. As it always seems somebody else's problem or misfortune, we continue to go from bad to worse.

The good news is that there is a solution. There is a way out but we have to make an effort and, on one hand, eat better and make use of the Mediterranean diet and, on the other hand, practice something as simple as going for a daily walk at a pace a little less slower than a tortoise. It's worth knowing that, as Doctor Alba has highlighted, physical exercise and a healthy diet are as important in the fight against cancer as are drugs and treatments.

We must overcome the idea that running is for cowards and build sport into our daily lives. Go to work on foot, don't forget that in buildings, as well as lifts, there are stairs to go up and down on, give the sofa a rest or do a quick morning circuit of the gym. All these are habits that can have a positive effect on our health.

The icing on the cake would be if we also consumed more fruit and vegetables than processed meat, shop-bought pastries and sugary drinks.

So there you have it; move around more - it's better to spend the money on shoes than on medicine.