Texas Tech El Paso lands a $1.2 million grant for obesity-related cancer research

Texas Tech El Paso lands a $1.2 million grant for obesity-related cancer research

Obesity-related cancer is on the rise and Texas Tech University in El Paso has received a grant of $1.2 million in hopes to help prevent more cases of obesity-related cancer.

Being obese can lead to other health issues as well, like Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Carrying too much body fat is what increases certain cancers, which include, esophageal, colon, pancreatic, breast, uterine, kidney and thyroid cancer.

Right now Texas has the 14th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, and professor Jennifer Salinas is hoping to decrease this epidemic with the grant the University was given.

With the money, they will begin an obesity-related cancer research prevention program called Pasos Para Prevenir Cancer. This program combines lifestyle education and fun physical activities to help El Pasoans achieve healthy weights, which will lessen their risk of cancer.

The university will begin new classes to educate its students on obesity, as well as have more community events, like walking challenges, for El Pasoans to join.

“Last year we had 700 people join, and had about 70 teams, and this year, we’re expecting to at least double that,” said Salinas.

The school and its students will also start training physicians to be prepared for obesity-related clients and situations.

“Often times I hear that people don’t even have that conversation with their physicians and so we’re really trying to focus in on getting physicians educated on what they need to do, how they need to approach obesity and give them resources in the community that they can refer their patients to,” said Salinas.

Their goal is to help encourage El Pasoans to follow through on their weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals.

“Moving around more, getting a little bit more exercise, even in the slightest way, can have a really big impact and I think that’s the main message we are trying to convey,” said Salinas.

For more information on how you can get access to help with obesity-related illness or join Texas Tech El Paso’s walking challenges, please email elpasowalkingchallenge@ttuhsc.edu.

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