Obesity is a magnet for health disasters. It has been known for a long time that being overweight leads to heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma etc. But a recent study that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology has added another deadly disease to the list. This study found a link between being overweight and cancer. Becoming obese before you turn 40 raises the risk of getting cancer by 15%.
More specifically, excess weight in youth increases the likelihood of endometrial cancer (cancer that starts at the uterine wall) by 70%, renal cell cancer among men by 58% and colon cancer in men by 29%.
What was the study all about?
A professor from the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen who was involved in the study said that the link between obesity and the development of cancer has been known for a long time by researchers. That is why the focus of the study was on finding out how the degree, duration and the time when a person becomes obese affect the chances of getting cancer.
For this study, data was collected from 220,000 people scattered over Norway, Austria and Sweden. In the follow-up examinations, 27,881 people from the group of 220,000 were diagnosed with cancer. It was also discovered that 9761 or 35% of the people diagnosed with cancer were obese.
All of these individuals were monitored for 18 years and examined 2 or more times with intervals in between. During these health examinations, it was seen that people with a BMI of over 30 had a much greater risk of contracting cancer. Obese men were 64% more likely to get cancer than men with normal body weight. Among obese women, the risk of cancer went up by 48%. Additionally, overweight women were also found to be more prone to postmenopausal breast cancer.
This is how the study proved that being overweight and cancer risk are connected.
So what should you do?
Obesity is a dangerous health risk and it’s on the rise. But, fortunately, obesity can be dealt with. To reduce the risk of cancer caused by obesity, all you have to do is follow some simple tips-
1. Be careful about your portion size –
Very often we lose sight of how much food our body needs and end up eating so much that the excess carbohydrates are stored as fats in our bodies. That is why you need to watch how much you eat during your meals.
If you are overweight and want to shed a few kilos, create a calorie deficit. That means, consume fewer calories than your body requires. That way your body will be forced to burn the excess fats to give itself the energy it needs.
Even if you are not obese, or are slightly overweight, measure out the portion you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition –
- Eat plenty of proteins and fibre so that you stay full for longer and don’t snack in between meals.
- Only eat fresh organic foods and consume leafy green vegetables, eggs, whole grains and lean meat or fatty fishes.
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods.
2. Exercise every day –
You will have to do a lot of cardiovascular exercises as they are the surest and quickest way of losing weight. For half an hour every day, you should do one of the following-
As you get accustomed to the half-hour workout, try to prolong your exercise session. The more you exercise, the more you lose weight.
You could enroll in a gym where your trainer will supervise your weight loss procedure.
3. Avoid Alcohol and smoking –
It is common knowledge that both of these can increase the risk of cancer. So if you are indulging in any one of them or both, you need to take immediate steps to stop.
Many young people are becoming obese and becoming more vulnerable to cancer. But, by living healthy, you can eliminate overweight induced cancer risk completely.