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Jun 18, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- WEIGHT GAIN LINKED TO BREAST CANCER

University at Buffalo epidemiologists find women who put on the most pounds between their first pregnancy and menopause have a greater risk of breast cancer. Women who gained in the neighborhood of 60 pounds during the period from first pregnancy to menopause were twice as likely to develop breast cancer compared with those whose gain was about 20 pounds. There was no association between lifetime weight gain and breast-cancer risk in premenopausal women, between weight or weight changes at the age of 20 and breast-cancer risk, or body shape at menopause, the study says. Researchers presented the study at the Society for Epidemiological Research meeting in Salt Lake City.


Liposuction may do a lot for reducing hips and thighs, but it doesn't do anything for reducing the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. "Despite removing large amounts of subcutaneous fat -- about 20 percent of our subject's total body fat mass -- there were no beneficial medical effects," says study leader Dr. Samuel Klein, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found liposuction did not provide the metabolic benefits normally associated with similar amounts of fat loss induced by dieting. Excess abdominal fat is associated with a defect in insulin's ability to regulate sugar and fat metabolism, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood lipids, hypertension and heart disease.


Employers can save on health care costs by encouraging very overweight and obese sedentary employees to become more physically active. A study, by the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, questioned 23,490 employees of a manufacturing corporation on frequency of physical activity and body mass index. "The most health care savings were from the employees categorized as both sedentary and obese," Feifei Wang wrote in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "Moving them into the moderately active category, even without weight loss, could saved an estimated $498 per person, which accounts for 1.5 percent of the total health care costs of the study population."


The U.S. government urges Americans to eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day for good health, but surveys indicate that few do. Part of the problem may be that while many people had become accustomed to bowls of fruit lasting a week on kitchen tables in the 1950s, produce spoils faster than it used to. Janice Longone, curator of culinary history at the University of Michigan's Clements Library, whose exhibit "The Iceman Cometh ... and Goeth" runs June 8 through September, says one of the reason refrigerators are getting larger is because they have to store more produce. "Many of our table grapes are grown in Chile and once they've been brought home, they seem to deteriorate immediately," she said.


(EDITORS: For more information on BREAST CANCER, contact Lois Baker, call (716) 645-5000 ext 1417, or For LIPOSUCTION, Jim Dryden (314) 286-0110, or For EXERCISE, Feifei Wang at (734) 763-2462, or For PRODUCE, Joanne Nesbit (734) 647-4418, or

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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