ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention

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Summary of the ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity

ACS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL CHOICES

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life.

  • Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.
  • Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
  • Get regular physical activity and limit intake of high-calorie foods and drinks as keys to help maintain a healthy weight.

Be physically active.

  • Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.
  • Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.
  • Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.

Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.

  • Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
  • Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.

If you drink alcohol, limit your intake.

  • Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.

ACS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMMUNITY ACTION

Public, private, and community organizations should work together at national, state, and local levels to apply policy and environmental changes that:

  • Increase access to affordable, healthy foods in communities, places of work, and schools, and decrease access to and marketing of foods and drinks of low nutritional value, particularly to youth.
  • Provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible environments for physical activity in schools and workplaces, and for transportation and recreation in communities.

Last Medical Review: 01/11/2012
Last Revised: 01/11/2012