Obesity linked to various cancers

Research reported finding a strong link between excess body fat and increased cancer risk.

We all know the negative effects of obesity on our health and the medical research keeps reinforcing this truth. A recent study by the American Institute for Cancer Research reported finding a strong link between excess body fat and increased cancer risks of the:

  • esophagus
  • pancreas
  • colon and rectum
  • endometrium
  • kidney
  • postmenopausal breast
  • gallbladder

The research discovered the fat cells in our bodies are not inactive. They actually produce estrogen, which promotes cell growth and they produce various proteins that cause inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn stimulate cell growth and cell reproduction. The more cells divide, the more opportunity there is for cancer to develop.

Fat around the waist is even more active in producing these growth stimulants. So overweight people — particularly if they carry most of their weight around their midsection (apple-shaped) — have high levels of substances circulating in their blood that stimulate cell division.

So here’s the lesson in this new research – maintaining a healthy weight may be the single most important way to protect against cancer.

Once your bathroom scale starts inching upward or your clothes start to fit more snugly, it’s time to take action. Losing 5 or 6 pounds as soon as they appear is much easier than taking off 30 or 40 pounds down the road. In addition to losing weight, eating foods containing fiber is also linked to reducing your risk of developing cancer.

The following lifestyle modifications can help:

  • Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Eat fewer high-calorie foods.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.

Written by: Karen Allen, R.N., OCN

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research


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