Four of every ten women living in the US are now obese, a new high in the obesity epidemic, with rates continuing to be disturbingly high among children, finds two new studies published in JAMA.
The findings by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control are significant for cancer risk and obesity prevention efforts.
Aside from not smoking, obesity is the single largest lifestyle factor linked with increased cancer risk. Too much body fat now links to higher risk of 11 cancers, including post-menopausal breast, colorectal, and ovarian.
The study that focused on adults found that in 2014, almost 38 percent of people living in the US were obese overall. That rate is slightly lower for men, with 35 percent obese, and higher for women, at 40.4 percent of women categorized as obese.
Both here in the US and around the world, obesity rates continue to climb. Today, for the first time, more people are classified as obese than underweight, finds a major new study published in The Lancet.
The findings have severe implications for cancer rates. Aside from not smoking, staying a healthy weight is the single largest risk factor related to cancer risk. AICR research links excess body fat to ten cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and esophageal.
Here in the US, if everyone were a healthy weight, AICR estimates that approximately 128,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year.
For postmenopausal women who are overweight, it makes sense that losing weight could reduce their risk of breast cancer because being overweight or obese increases the risk. But when overweight women are working to shed pounds, is it primarily exercise or cutting calories that makes more of a difference in lowering the risk?
Both, suggests a new study, with weight loss fueled primarily by exercise possibly leading to even more benefits – at least in the short-term for certain markers of breast cancer.
The study is one of the few randomized controlled trials that focuses on teasing apart the effect of diet versus exercise on breast cancer risk. It was published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.