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(photo: Tim Hamilton)
You’re headed out to the fireworks tonight. While blasting patriotic tunes on the patio, you jam a perfectly grilled cheeseburger into your mouth, so pumped that you can barely chew. More than a couple of alcoholic beverages later, you eat a gigantic piece of gooey, good old-fashioned chocolate cake. By the time you get to the fireworks, your food-induced coma has knocked the energy, life and holiday cheer out of your red, white and blue adorned limbs.

I know you don’t want to hear me say, “Make your Fourth of July a healthy one,” but listen up: In 2014, it is projected that more than 580,000 people will die from cancer in America. Research shows that up to 60% of these cancer cases and more than 50% of these cancer deaths are preventable.

More than one-third of U.S. adults and children are considered obese. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. We are not moving in the right direction. Poor health is not part of the “American Dream.” Let’s celebrate America by keeping Americans around.

4 tips to stay healthy today and still have fun:

  1. Eat raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and plain Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt 3675192393_a5ba33c10a_z(protein and calcium for the win!) paired with holiday-appropriate fruit fills you up in a healthy way.
  2. Wear sunscreen. A palm full of SPF 30 or higher reapplied every two hours protects you from the sun. Don’t let your skin turn red to match the decorations.
  3. Limit the alcohol. Have 1-2 beers instead of 6-7. Stay healthy, hydrated and alert, and refrain from embarrassing yourself.
  4. Get excited, jump up and down and celebrate America! Exercise and movement of any kind greatly reduce your risk for cancer.

5902214763_a38bb7dde1_zIt’s 100% possible to live life to the fullest in a healthy way. Fourth of July isn’t about food after all – it’s about expressing pride for our country. Each year, doctors, authors, singers, programmers, food critics, gymnasts, lawyers, architects, graphic designers, parents, children, friends, etc. (everyone!) come together and not only celebrate our country, but all of the amazing things that our freedom has allowed us to do.

Happy Fourth of July from Prevent Cancer. Reduce your risk for cancer today and make it possible for your friends and fellow Americans to keep on creating, exploring and discovering. There is nothing more patriotic than prevention.