Date: Apr 01, 2014
Magazine:
WG&S April 2014: WG Partners with American Cancer Society

In a perfect world, there would be no disease, no illness nor the pain and sorrow that come with it.  In the real world, we have to deal with it and find the best tools to fight back and survive.  In the case of cancer, and other deadly diseases, a couple of those tools are keeping body weight down and eating healthy.  Of course, the best products for that are fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts — just the food that Western Growers’ members grow, pack and ship.  That is why WG is partnering with the American Cancer Society (ACS), “To stand on the front lines to finish the fight against cancer.”

Modern medicine has done much to overcome the ravages of this deadly disease and the 100-year-old ACS has led the way to transform cancer from deadly to preventable.  “Research shows one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and obesity,” said David F. Veneziano, executive vice president, American Cancer Society California Division.  “An alliance with Western Growers will only strengthen our work to raise awareness about the importance of making healthy food and lifestyle choices to help lower cancer risk.”

Getting more people to eat more fruits and vegetables is the goal.  The ACS writes on its website:  “Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk.  That’s one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of these foods every day — food that contain important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and they’re usually low in calories.  How much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer?  Much more than you might think.  Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are two key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk.  The good news is that you can do something about this.  To reduce cancer risk, most people need to keep their BMIs below 25.  Ask your doctor what your BMI number means and what action (if any) you should take.”

Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif said, “Our farmers grow the best medicine in the world; healthy and nutritious foods that can help prevent and fight disease.  We are very proud to join with the American Cancer Society in their efforts to prevent cancer.  We know lifestyle choices play a huge part, including the kinds of food we choose to eat.  As our farmers strive to grow more fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, we also strive to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy diet.  The American Cancer Society is a natural partner in that effort.”

Western Growers has committed $100,000 over two years to help support American Cancer Society programs, services, advocacy and cancer research efforts.  While the formal agreement was made with the ACS California division, all benefits and programs of the collaboration include WG members in Arizona.  Helping people of all ages achieve healthy eating habits is critical to reducing the rate of new cancer cases.  American Cancer Society guidelines on diet, nutrition and cancer prevention emphasize maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, adopting a physically active lifestyle, and a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and limited red meats and other high fat foods.

The two organizations will collaborate on a variety of projects throughout the next two years to provide the public, and all WG members and customers, with early cancer detection and prevention information, as well as unique opportunities to participate in educational community events that raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

 

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.  As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates.  Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year.  As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer.  We’re finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more.  For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/fight.

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