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Study Links Weight to Cancer Risk

Posted - May 2, 2003 at 7:13 a.m.



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Glenda Camara has lost almost 45 pounds in six months. She's doing it for her children.

Glenda Camara: "I NEED TO, ONE, BE AROUND FOR THEM AND I KNOW BEING OBESE CAN CAUSE A LOT OF HEALTH ISSUES. AND TWO, I NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET OUT WITH THEM AND PARTICIPATE IN DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES WITH THEM."

Shedding those pounds may offer additional benefits. A new study shows being overweight increases your risk of many cancers.

Dr. Eugenia Calle/ American Cancer Society: "WE FOUND THAT THE HEAVIER MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR STUDY WERE 50% TO 60% MORE LIKELY TO DIE FROM CANCER THAN THE MEN AND WOMEN OF NORMAL WEIGHT."

The researchers say fat seems to raise the level of certain hormones linked to cancer. But with some cancers, just being heavier puts you at risk.

Dr. Gabriel Uwaifo/ Cancer Researcher: "WHILE CIGARETTES ARE CLEARLY MARKED, THESE PEOPLE NEED TO REALIZE THAT A HIGH FAT DIET OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME COULD JUST BE AS DANGEROUS."

Studies show 60 percent of American adults are overweight...a number that rises every year.

DR. GABRIEL UWAIFO: "MAYBE 20 PERCENT, 20-30 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO GO ON A DIET CAN ACTUALLY LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF."

The only way to guarantee success is to change your lifestyle to make sure you're burning more calories than your eating...for a lifetime.

Losing weight is never easy. It really takes a lot of effort and it's a lifetime commitment.

But this study could help offer some powerful incentives to shed those pounds and keep them off.

According to the study, if all Americans maintained a healthy weight, a body mass index 25 or below, we would save 90-thousand lives each year that are lost to cancer.

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