Prevention of chronic conditions and cancer

Book chapter published in 2016 by Alexandra McCarthy, Tina Skinner, Michael Fenech, Shelley Keating

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Publisher: Springer Singapore

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A scan of any cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or kidney health guideline underscores the importance of preventive strategies to offset the risk of developing chronic conditions. It also highlights the commonalities amongst preventive strategies for these conditions. In this chapter, we focus on the lifestyle practices that increase or reduce the risk of developing common chronic conditions. We examine how modifying individual-level determinants of health, such as exercise and dietary habits, environmental exposures, and alcohol and medication intake could help prevent them. Throughout this chapter we will discuss how these determinants of health can also work in synergy to influence risk. We will particularly focus on the complementary roles of diet and exercise in reducing body fatness and subsequently in reducing many of the risks associated with chronic disease. This chapter concludes with sections on pharmacoprevention and potential approaches to enhance the uptake of, and adherence to, health-promoting behaviours that can prevent the development of chronic conditions and cancer.