I recently blogged about the obesity rate—although it is still rising, the rise is slowing. Still, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that obesity rate will be 42 percent by the year 2030. That spells trouble. Another recent CDC report on cancer highlights one big reason why the nation’s obesity rates need to be curbed. The report, published in the journal Cancer, found that excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for one-quarter to one-third of common cancers.

“Americans don’t understand the association between cancer and obesity,” stated Marcus Plescia, director of the division of cancer prevention for the CDC. “They know about the links to diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis, but many don’t know about this.” Ahmedin Jamal, vice president of surveillance research for the American Cancer Society states, “If we wanted to see continued decrease in the mortality rates for cancer, we have to promote behaviors such as losing weight, being active, and giving up smoking.”

And don’t forget reducing toxin exposure, another recommended preventable risk factor for cancer. I blogged on it last year. You see, diet and lifestyle need to be moved to the forefront of medicine. Most, if not all, chronic diseases are related to diet and lifestyle. The choices we make, day in and day out, about what we put into our bodies and how we maintain our bodies, plays a much bigger role in our overall health than we realize. Think about that at your next meal. Think about it as you plan your day.