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Small healthy choices can reduce your cancer risk by one third

With 2018 now in full swing, many are starting to see their New Year’s resolutions quickly fade away.

The intention is admirable and some statistics say that nearly 40% of all Americans make a New Year’s resolution, most commonly losing weight or going to the gym. However, following through on those resolutions, plans, and goals is another thing entirely.

Nearly 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first few months of the year, and very few people actually achieve their beginning of the year goals.

The reason for this failure? Many factors can contribute to a lack of follow through and success, but making large sweeping life changes rather than taking it one step at a time plays a major role.

For example, planning to vaguely “lose weight” isn’t doing you any favors. But choosing to make small, purposeful changes in diet and exercise will be much easier to attain and keep up.

A new study has also found that taking purposeful steps and following through could reduce cancer risk by almost one-third.

The study, conducted by researchers from the United Kingdom and led by Peter Elwood, a professor at Cardiff University, found that making healthy choices and sticking to them reduces chances of cancer and death due to cancer.

The study was published in the journal ecancermedicalscience.

The researchers analyzed data from the United Kingdom Biobank, which is a prospective study of half a million subjects.

The research team identified healthy behaviors like not smoking, engaging in regular physical activity, eating healthy and limiting alcohol and compared the behaviors to risk of cancer in the Biobank subjects.

The results showed that making healthy choices and behaviors was linked to a one-third reduction in cancer risk.

Of course the logic makes sense in theory, but this study shows by numbers how much just one healthy choice contributes to reduced cancer risk.

“Perhaps the advice to take up one additional healthy behavior is the most acceptable message for most subjects,” said Elwood. “In our study, each additional healthy behavior was associated with a reduction of about 8% in cancer, independent of the effects of the other behaviors.”

When faced with a list of New Year’s resolutions, reducing the risk of cancer is certainly a strong motivator, and making small, purposeful changes to health and lifestyle could be the key to success.

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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