Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention

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According to a recent study, fewer US adults with overweight or obesity are trying to lose weight in what is a concerning trend for cancer prevention. With obesity rates increasing and fewer at a healthy weight, more people will be at risk for several cancers such as post menopausal breast and colorectal, as well as other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

In their analysis, researchers used data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 1988 through 2014 to compare weight loss efforts over the past couple of decades. They found that the percent of Americans with overweight trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49% in the past 25 years. This drop occurred in nearly all gender and ethnic categories, but perhaps the most concerning decline was for black women. Almost 8 in 10 black women have overweight or obesity, but those trying to lose weight went from 65.5% to almost 55%. White women and men also showed drops in weight loss efforts.

For cancer prevention, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is one of the most powerful lifestyle factors for lower risk. In those who already have overweight or obesity, we don’t know if losing weight will lower risk, though it seems to make sense. But we do know that losing weight will reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for some cancers, and it can reduce chronic inflammation and other markers for cancer risk. Read more… “Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention”

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    Large study finds (again) obesity links to many cancers

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    A large new analysis of research confirms that obesity links to many forms of cancer, supporting AICR’s findings on the obesity-cancer link and highlighting clear evidence that obesity is a major cause of cancer.

    The study was published today in the BMJ. It was funded in part by World Cancer Research Fund International, of which AICR is a member.

    The study was a review of review studies. The authors looked at analyses that included how measures of excess body fat relate to both the risk of developing and dying from cancer. Read more… “Large study finds (again) obesity links to many cancers”

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      Will losing weight lower your cancer risk? It can.

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      Many people think that whether or not you get cancer is just luck of the draw. Or, that your chances are determined by genes you inherit from your parents.

      Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD.

      While there is some randomness to who develops cancer, and genes are important, a new awareness survey suggests most people don’t know about  lifestyle and health characteristics that affect your risk for cancer. Several of these can be reversed.

      We’ve known for many years that being overweight or obese increases risk for several types of cancer, including cancers of the colon, rectum, endometrium, liver, kidney, breast (in postmenopausal women), gallbladder, pancreas, and some parts of the stomach, ovary, and esophagus. Obesity also increases risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, the most dangerous stage of this cancer. Some newer studies suggest that obesity also increases risk for thyroid cancer and for some cancers of the blood, lymph, and nervous systems. Read more… “Will losing weight lower your cancer risk? It can.”

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