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Nutrition Day

Press release (03/11/2019) 

Facing cancer: eat and move !

Brussels, November 3, 2019 – On 7 November, the Jules Bordet Institute, the Belgian reference centre in the fight against cancer, is participating in Nutrition Day. The occasion to again stress the essential link between healthy eating combined with regular physical exercise and treatment against cancer. Eat and move: two health "assets" that are in your hands when facing this disease.

Nutrition Day

As a cancer patient, watch out for involuntary weight loss!
When facing cancer it is important to consult a dietician so as to adopt an appropriate diet that makes it possible to control weight increases and losses. Involuntary weight loss is often observed in patients, sometimes immediately following diagnosis. The causes are many: loss of appetite, eating difficulties and/or digestive intolerance, changes to the metabolism linked to the tumour, side effects of the treatment, anxiety or a tendency to depression, etc. This weight loss then results in fatigue and reduced tolerance to the medication and can even adversely affect the patient's vital prognosis. This is why it is important to inform your doctor or dietician of any involuntary weight loss. In general, it is always recommended to follow a varied and balanced diet, consisting of fruit and vegetables, protein (of animal or vegetable origin) and good calories, that is, 55%-60% carbohydrates and 35%-40% lipids (fats). In fighting cancer these foods provide the body with the necessary nutrients and vitamins to combat the disease and prevent involuntary weight increases and losses.

How does physical exercise help to live with the disease?For a long time physical exercise was regarded as inadvisable for people who are ill and who need to rest as much as possible. It has now been shown that being physically active brings many benefits. It helps increase the assimilation of proteins in the muscles and to maintain muscular mass that is essential at all times but especially when you are ill. Physical activity also has a positive effect on hormones and the immune system. These are factors that will increase tolerance to the treatment and facilitate recovery. Of course this physical activity needs to be adapted to each patient depending on his or her illness, treatment and age.

Nutrition Day, survey of nutrition for patients
On 7 November the Jules Bordet Institute will be participating in Nutrition Day: an international audit carried out in 64 countries worldwide to assess the nutrition of hospitalised patients. The aim is to improve nutrition for this population and to increase nutrition awareness among patients, family and care staff. This action was initiated by the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and is supported by the Belgian Society of Clinical Nutrition and SPF Santé, the Federal Public Health Service.
For more information on Nutrition Day, go to:

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