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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingResults of a huge study were released Wednesday, saying that those extra pounds we carry around could trigger cancer in our bodies. The landmark study warns if Americans don't stop gaining weight, obesity may soon surpass smoking as the top cancer risk.
The report shows fat is not only ugly, it's a hotbed of inflammation and hormonal changes that can damage cells over time and raise the risk of at least six cancers..
Having too much body fat increases your risk of cancer, whether at birth, during childhood, or as an adult. Researchers say the evidence is convincing that excess body fat boosts the risk for six cancers: colon, kidney, esophageal, pancreatic, uterine and, in post-menopauasl women, breast.
W. Phillip James, M.D., a member of the Expert Report panel, said, "It's not just a question of being fat, but the evidence is that it's best to be as lean as possible."
Researchers recommend adults keep their body mass index, or BMI, somewhere between 21 and 23. That means the average American male at 5 foot 10 inches should weigh between 146 and 160 pounds; and the average female at five foot five inches should weigh between 126 and 138.
Fat around the middle is of the most concern:
Peter Libby, M.D., an inflammation specialist, says, "The fat around your belly is the most dangerous because it is the most inflammatory."
That's not all. Carrying excess fat around the belly often means you're also carrying higher levels of insulin, a hormone that may stimulate and fuel cancers.
To avoid excess weight, the report calls for limiting the intake of high calorie foods, alcohol and meat including beef, lamb and pork. Avoid processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs. And exercise at least thirty minutes a day. Remember, moderation in everything.