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Share the Health: M. D. Anderson's Holiday Gift Guide

Great gift ideas that encourage cancer prevention and a healthy lifestyle

M. D. Anderson News Release - 12/03/09

HOUSTON – This holiday season, experts at The University of Texas Gift
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center encourage shoppers to purchase gifts that offer health benefits for recipients. 

M. D. Anderson’s 2009 holiday gift guide has healthy options for everyone in the family.

“Living a healthy lifestyle plays a large role in reducing a person’s chances of developing cancer,” says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at M. D. Anderson.

Obesity and physical inactivity contribute to about 25 to 30 percent of several major cancers, says the American Cancer Society. In addition, practicing sun-safety strategies can prevent the more than one million skin cancers that occur each year.

The items in M. D. Anderson’s gift guide below encourage recipients to exercise more, improve their diet and protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Gym membership
M. D. Anderson recommends doing at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, every day to lower a person’s chances of getting cancer. A gym membership gives people a way to work out no matter what Mother Nature has in store. Memberships range from $19 to $120 a month. Sounds too pricey? Wrap-up a fun exercise DVD for home workouts!

Active gear for kids
Encourage kids to be adventurous and stay active. Kids should be active for at least 60 minutes every day to lower their chances of getting cancer as adults. Rollerblades, a bike, scooter or ice skates are all good ideas. Less expensive options include a jump rope, hula-hoop or ball.

Dark chocolate
In addition to being delicious, moderate amounts of dark chocolate may play a role in cancer prevention because of the antioxidants in it. Find beautifully packaged chocolates at gourmet chocolate shops, online or at your local drugstore for as little as $2. Just be sure to check the label before buying! To get the cancer prevention benefits, chocolate should contain at least 65 percent cocoa. Also, look for boxes that offer smaller serving sizes. The recommended serving size is one ounce per day.

Green tea sampler
Studies suggest that antioxidants in green tea protect against cancer by stopping cancer cells from growing. Find pretty sampler packs at local chains, independent coffee shops, teahouses or at gourmet grocery stores. These samplers cost as little as $10. Want to personalize this gift? Make your own sampler by using tissue paper and a wooden box.

Fruit of the month club
Buy a gift membership from a fruit of the month club. Membership fees range from $32 to $200 a month, depending on the amount and type of fruit. Fruit is a great gift because it contains tons of antioxidants and plant chemicals that help the body fight cancer. A more affordable option is to make your own fruit basket by purchasing a woven basket, tissue paper and fresh produce.

A steamer cooks food without using oil or butter, which can add extra fat and calories to meals. Even better, steamers make it easy to cook vegetables, which means busy family and friends will be more likely to eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Sun protective clothing
For active family members and friends, nothing says love like sun protective clothing. The clothing, called UPF clothing, is an easy and reliable form of sun protection that lasts through many washes. It’s a great gift for kids (the bathing suits are adorable), runners, gardeners or anyone who spends time outdoors.

After you’ve purchased a healthy gift for everyone on your list, don’t forget to include a card that explains how your present helps the recipient reduce their chances of getting cancer. 

Get more healthy strategies for the holiday season at Focused on Health.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center