Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Intentional Weight Loss to Lower Cancer Risks

Studies have shown that there is a high correlation between obesity and cancer. Indeed, according to epidemiologic studies, there are at least 11 cancers that are associated with obesity. However, an important question is the following: Can intentional weight loss lower the risk of cancer? And a recent study appears to indicate that for some demographics, the answer is yes.

Most experts agree that a healthy diet, physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes will likely contribute to lowering the risk of many illnesses, including cancer. Along with the above-mentioned behaviors, to lower cancer risk, an individual should abstain from the use of alcohol, or limit alcohol consumption. And the study, mentioned above, sheds light on the effects of intentional weight loss in cancer risk reduction.

The study looked at postmenopausal women’s weight and waist circumference at baseline, and three years later. There were 50,667 subjects in the study. Since a 5% weight loss has been shown to have health benefits for some disease conditions, a 5% weight loss was used in the study. The following three subject categories were established for the study: Individuals who intentionally lost at least 5% of their weight or waist circumference (WC), individuals who unintentionally lost 5% of their weight, and individuals who lost or gained less than 5% of their weight.

The investigators concluded that for the postmenopausal women who had at least a 5% intentional weight loss, the cancer risk was reduced compared to those women who unintentionally lost at least 5% of their weight or WC, and compared to those women who lost or gained less than 5% of their weight or WC.

So this study does indicate that intentional weight loss can lower cancer risk— at least in postmenopausal women. And since intentional weight loss of at least 5% has been proven to be beneficial in other health areas for most demographic groups, it is quite possible that a 5% intentional weight loss or WC loss may lower cancer risk for demographic groups other than postmenopausal women.


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