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Study: Among Obese, Cancer Risk Increases

Obesity More Reasons to Keep Trim  

Let’s face it, when it comes to working out and eating right, most of us do it because we want to appeal to the opposite sex.  Sure, it might be a vain reason, but in the words of Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  Whatever motivation it takes to keep trim and holding true to the exercise habit, I say, is worthwhile. But there’s a

growing body of evidence showing that exercise and eating right is as fundamental to living well and free of disease as it’s ever been. Simply put, living free of disease may replace vanity as the number one reason to exercise and eat healthfully.

British researchers have concluded that obesity—a leading cause of preventable death around the world, accounting for nearly 300,000 annual deaths in the U.S. alone—significantly increases the likelihood of getting several different kinds of cancers

Doctors and the health conscious public have long known of the increased risk obese people have in getting heart disease and diabetes, the first and sixth leading cause of death in America in 2004, respectively, according to the CDC.  This most recent finding links obesity with mortality more closely than ever before (if that’s even possible), as cancer is the second leading cause of death in America, just below heart disease.

The study looked at approximately 285,000 men and women, finding that both sexes are more susceptible to different forms of cancer (including those that aren’t as frequently diagnosed) than previously thought.  These cancers include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, as well as cancers of the esophagus, kidney, thyroid, bladder and uterus.  One of the more interesting findings of the study was that the prevalence of these cancers differed depending on the gender of the person tested.  For instance, cancer of the gallbladder was more pronounced in obese women than obese men.  For obese men, cancer of the thyroid was more pronounced than it was in obese women.

Other interesting findings of the study?  The risk of acquiring cancer appears to correlate with where someone lives geographically.  For instance, women who live in Asia and are obese are more susceptible to breast cancer than obese women living in Europe. 

What explains these variations aren’t known, so these uncertainties are sure to serve as fodder for doctors and researchers to ponder over in subsequent studies.

Obesity is a scientific term and is determined by one’s body mass index.  One’s body mass index is determined by dividing weight in pounds by the squared value of one’s height in inches.  That number is then multiplied by 703.  People are considered to be obese if that number is higher than 30.

The point here is not to frighten or to say one’s self-worth is measured by the scale.  The point is to enhance one’s quality of life, which immediately improves with a healthy weight (“Healthy weight” is a BMI score between 18.5 and 24.9).  At the risk of sounding macabre (i.e. gruesome) enhancing one’s quality of life can’t be done if you’re dead.  And obesity has never been linked closer to death than it is with the release of this latest study.

Related Posts

  1. Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Disease in Women, Study Finds
  2. Women Who Breastfeed Reduce Their Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Shows
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cut Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men, Study Finds
  4. A High Fiber Diet Can Slash the Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds
  5. Obesity Raises Diabetes Risk More Than Inactivity, Study Finds
  


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