Prevention is For Women Too

The scientific evidence is mounting: Obesity and weight gain have tremendous negative effects, such as blood pressure, high cholesterol, and higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, gallstones, arthritis of the knee and even higher rates of some sorts of cancer.


Modern research confirms the effects of obesity on higher rates of breast cancer in women, and the good impact of exercise on lowering the rates of developing breast cancer.


This was the first study conducted by Dr. Rose Frisch from Harvard University. The study indicated that the rates of developing breast cancer in women who exercised regularly were lower than their counterparts who did not follow any regular exercise.


The study was followed by another from the University of South Carolina, conducted by Dr. Leslie Bernstein on 1000 women. The study found that the rates of developing breast cancer decreased more than 50% in women who exercised for 4 hours or more every week on average.


Another study from the Netherlands, conducted in 1997, supported the results of previous ones. The study included 25,000 women who were followed up for 14 years. Researchers found that women who exercised no less than 4 hours a week lowered their risk of having breast cancer by 37%.


In a study conducted by Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Nuaim and a group of doctors at the University of King Khalid in Al-Riyadh on 13,177 Saudi citizens, it was discovered that the rates of obesity and weight gain in the Saudi society were among the highest rates globally, in comparison to the standard rates of the World Health Organization and the Unites States. It was also found that these rates are higher among higher-income households, and are also higher among women compared to men.


The seriousness of these findings is doubled as we realize that the majority of the Saudi population is under 30 years old. In other words, it is expected that the rates of developing all health conditions mentioned above will increase, including breast cancer in women.


The United States realized the importance of prevention and made it a priority of the health system, and spent a fortune on it, which is expected to pay off in the near future. The existence of such prevention programs is one of the most significant standards of health improvement on a general and comprehensive level.


We need to create extensive preventive medicine and nutritional awareness programs. A way of doing so is to find exercise programs and centers for everyone in society including women, within the Islamic etiquette.


The misapplication of a method does not justify its cancellation.



OKAZ Newspaper – Tuesday 18 Rabi Al-Awwal 1418 AH falling on 22 July 1997 AD