New York Times’ health blogger Tara Parker-Post created quite a stir on a blog post last week. It’s rare that someone speaks out about the presumed physical inactivity of cancer survivors, however, Parker-Post sifted through a recent study to ascertain, “Obesity and physical inactivity are linked with a lower quality of life among cancer survivors and may increase the risk of the cancer coming back or death from the disease.”
The Well blog quickly drew over 100 comments, many from cancer survivors. The majority of the comments were complaints that cancer survivors and those recently diagnosed should not be concerned with calorie intake and overall fitness. Parker-Post responded with “The Well Podcast: Cancer and Exercise.” It is an eight minute podcast with “Leslie Bernstein, a noted cancer and exercise researcher from the City of Hope cancer center in Duarte, California.”
Wow! I would be ecstatic to have 119 comments for any of my blogs, but at what price? Where should Parker-Post have drawn the line? It seems like people are always so eager to attack. Are those who have cancer or have survived cancer a protected class? Isn’t obesity a factor in most diseases? Don’t we know enough about the effects of poor nutrition and lack of activity? The truth hurts. I run almost every day. I’m still overweight. Running and weight training make me feel great. My problem is Papa John and Grandma Shearer (potato chips) make me feel great too. With bad genetics, I am a walking time bomb. I have lost fifteen pounds since I started Weight Watchers and I continue to work on what goes in my mouth.
My point is this: Don’t attack people who are stating the obvious. I am genetically built for heart disease. I have high blood pressure. Maybe not as swift as cancer, but both are killers. Why wouldn’t I want to do all I can to prolong my life? Maybe Parker-Post won’t motivate many, but she might make a difference for a few.