Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge for many, including me. I can lose it, and I can gain it back. Seemingly effortlessly.
But it is increasingly evident how important maintaining a healthy weight is. Current statistics for 2012 show that two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. The overweight classification refers to having a body weight that is greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height; it is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
The CDC outlines some of the increased health risks associated with being overweight, which include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint), and gynecological problems.
But, the health risk I’m most concerned with is cancer. Researchers have found that being overweight or obese is linked to the development of cancer. As published in the journal Cancer Research, and subsequently reported on by Dr. Dubois at www.swisschiropractic.com, “the cells that create fat, called adipose stromal cells, are the same ones that help supply oxygen to cancerous tumors.”
Dr. Dubois goes on to report the following in his article:
- Obesity is the second-leading cause of cancer after smoking, according to experts from the World Cancer Research Fund
- Researchers claim that obesity increases the risk of at least nine different types of cancer, including that of the breast, bowel, prostate, ovary, uterus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder and esophagus
- There were 1.4 billion obese individuals worldwide in 2008, according to the World Health Organization, and the numbers have been climbing steadily since.
- Statistics show that those who are obese have far worse prognoses for cancer survival than their leaner counterparts.
He refers to a study that was conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston which showed that the adipose stromal cells (the cells that create fat) were recruited by tumors to either “become fat cells in the tumor, or were turned into cells that became part of the network of blood vessels that supplied oxygen and nutrients to the tumor.”
Their conclusion based on the study? “The experiment was important in that it demonstrated that obesity in itself—not only poor diet and lack of exercise—may be a major contributor to cancer.”
My conclusion? It’s time to get serious about our health. If your current weight, like many, is in the range of overweight or obese, there are significant health risks you should consider, including an increased risk of getting cancer. That being said, keep in mind that any positive, healthy changes you can incorporate into your lifestyle are worth the effort.
Think long term, think lifestyle, think health. It’s not about looks, it’s not about what others think, it’s about you.
And being the healthiest you you can be.
- Obesity and Cancer – The Latest Research (swisschiropractic.wordpress.com)
- What 93% of Americans Don’t Know: Obesity Raises Cancer Risk (psychologytoday.com)
- Obesity survey suggests many Americans don’t know fat can cause cancer, infertility (cbsnews.com)
- Few Americans Know Risks of Obesity (abcnews.go.com)