This will come as no surprise to EmpowHER members – a recent national survey of 2,000 women ages 25-64 revealed they are so busy being caretakers of others, they have little time to take care of their own health. In response, a new national campaign is underway. "Choose You" helps women take action to put their own health first in order to stay well and help prevent cancer.
The American Cancer Society (ACS), the largest voluntary health organization in the U.S., launched the campaign to shine the spotlight on a sobering statistic: one in three women will get cancer in her lifetime.
According to ACS, about half of all cancer deaths could be prevented if people maintained a healthy weight through diet and regular exercise; avoided tobacco products; and got recommended cancer screening tests. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to incorporate these healthy behaviors into a busy lifestyle.
“Women hold the keys to cancer prevention because they are the Chief Medical and Chief Operating Officers of their individual households. But they really struggle to make their own health a priority,” said Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., immediate past volunteer ACS president. “We are launching Choose You to help motivate women to prioritize their health and engage in lifestyle behaviors that can help reduce their cancer risk. By committing to their health, women will be better able to care for their families and serve as role models for their children, families, and friends.”
In March 2010, the ACS conducted a national online survey of 2,000 U.S. females ages 25-64 to examine women’s health behaviors and needs. According to the survey, women want better health, but fall short of achieving it. The survey found that 95 percent of women feel the need to improve their health, yet approximately three out of five women put others’ health before their own. When it comes to women’s specific health behaviors, the survey reveals some eye-opening findings:
- 90 percent say they fall short of eating a healthy diet
- 85 percent don’t get the minimum daily exercise of 30 minutes a day, five days a week recommended by the U.S. government