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Nutrition and physical activity
Evidence shows that being overweight, having a poor diet, drinking alcohol and doing little or no exercise all increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity also cause type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, arthritis and falls, accounting for nearly 20% of all disease and injury in Australia today.
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The NaSSDA survey is conducted to help fill the significant gap in data on obesity, diet and physical activity in secondary school students at both a state and national level.
More about national secondary students' diet and physical activity survey
Cancer Council's recommendations
Cancer Council Australia makes the following recommendations for nutrition and physical activity in support of the Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults and the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians:
- maintain a healthy body weight (BMI of 18.5 – 25)
- do regular physical exercise:
- 30 minutes of moderate activity a day for general good health
- 60 minutes a day, including some vigorous intensity exercise, to reduce cancer risk
- maintain a healthy, balanced diet:
- eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit - five or more servings of vegetables and two or more servings of fruit per day
- have cereals (preferably wholegrain) - between three and 12 servings each day, depending on age and gender
- eat meat in moderation - no more than three to four servings of, lean red meat each week and avoid processed meats
- select lower fat foods like lean meat and reduced-fat dairy products, and try using low-fat cooking methods like grilling instead of frying
- choose low-salt products - flavour foods with herbs and spices instead of salt
- avoid drinking alcohol if possible, or limit yourself to two standard drinks a day (as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council) and try to have one or two alcohol-free days a week.
More information about these recommendations are available in Cancer Council's preventing cancer lifestyle fact sheets.
This page was last updated on: Monday, August 20, 2012