Barbara played the Wheel of Life at a special healthy living day at the Houses of Parliament (Wednesday January 25).
The event helped launch the second year of Cancer Research UK’s Reduce the Risk campaign to MPs. Reduce the Risk aims to raise awareness of the avoidable risks of cancer and the importance of early detection.
The Wheel of Life is a fun way to find out about the risks and benefits of different behaviours such as eating healthily, smoking or sunbathing. Players are awarded points based on where the wheel stops; for example, you can lose 500 points for being a heavy smoker but win back 200 for swapping your pie for a healthy alternative.
Speaking at the event, supported by the on-site gym and refreshment department of the Houses of Parliament, Barbara said:
“Half of all cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes so it is in our own interests that we each do all we can to reduce our risk. Stopping smoking is the most important thing people can do to reduce their cancer risk and that’s one of the reasons I will be voting for an end to smoking in all workplaces and public places in February.
“Regular exposure to secondhand smoke increases your risk of lung cancer by 25 per cent and contributes to a wide range of serious diseases. I will do all I can to protect my constituents from this risk.”
One of the biggest known preventable causes of cancer in non-smokers is obesity and Cancer Research UK has joined forces with the charity Weight Concern to develop Ten Top Tips – a set of weight management guidelines that can be incorporated into everyday routines without radical lifestyle change.
The scientifically-based programme involves adopting 10 simple steps and using a weekly checklist to monitor progress and help reinforce the new habits.
Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK, said:
“Our Reduce the Risk campaign highlights five important ways you can lower your cancer risk, including stopping smoking, staying in shape, eating and drinking healthily, being SunSmart and reporting anything unusual to your doctor.
“Obesity is a known risk factor for cancer, yet far too many of those at greatest risk are unaware of this link and unaware of many of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
“The Reduce the Risk campaign offers people health messages and practical advice they can use to swap unhealthy habits for healthy ones. The Ten Top Tips programme is a great way to lose weight and keep it off. Many of us make resolutions to lose weight and get fit in January; Ten Top Tips can help us turn them into reality.”