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ACS Programs: NUPA Guidelines

By Lauryn Kennedy, December 16, 2016


The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention


Most of us are aware that we should avoid tobacco products to reduce our lifetime risk of cancer. But for those of us who don’t smoke, or have quit, what else can we be doing to decrease our risk?


Health is undoubtedly one of the most talked about topics today. From diets to the shake weight, everyone is searching for the latest and greatest way to look good and feel even better. Well, what if I were to tell you that a healthy lifestyle is one of biggest ways to prevent cancer. In 2007, more than 84,000 new cancer diagnoses were due to obesity alone. However, studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of several cancers, including colon and breast cancer. The American Cancer Society has created the Nutrition and Physical Activity (NUPA) Guidelines, which focus on healthy lifestyle changes that we can make to reduce our lifetime risk of cancer. In fact, they state that for those who do not smoke, lifestyle factors such as body weight, diet, and physical activity are some of the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed.


Here is a summary of the ACS NUPA Guidelines:

  • Avoid excess weight gain

  • Losing even a small amount of weight has shown health benefits

  • Participate in regular exercise and limit high-calorie foods to maintain a healthy weight

Physical Activity

  • Adults: 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week

  • Children/Teens: At least 1 hours of moderate or vigorous intensity exercise each day, with vigorous activity at least 3 days per week

  • Limit sedentary behavior

People cheering in front of sunrise

Healthy Diet

  • Limit processed meat and red meat

  • 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day

  • Choose whole grains over refined grains

Limit Intake of Alcohol

  • No more than 1 drink per day for women

  • No more than 2 drinks per day for men

For access to the full set of guidelines, click here!

Turn the NUPA Guidelines into a game at your next Team Captain or club meeting, or use these facts at your Relay for Life event!

  • Create a Jeopardy or Family Feud game

  • Use a beach ball and write NUPA questions in the different areas of the beach ball. Pass it around the room, and whatever questions is closest to your right hand, you have to answer that question

  • Create a list of NUPA phrases or facts, and play “Pictionary Telephone”

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