Anyone who has gained a few extra pounds knows that it is a good idea to shed that weight, but just how important is it?
Although being a little overweight might not be life-threatening, obesity can take a huge toll on your health. In fact, a recent British study has shown that obese women in particular have a 40 per cent higher chance of developing cancer than thinner women.
The study, which was conducted by Cancer Research UK, tells us that obese women have a one in four chance of developing some form of weight-related cancer at some point in their life. Weight-related cancers include those of the esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus, gallbladder, and bowel. Post-menopausal breast cancers have also been linked to weight and obesity.
Statistically speaking, only 194 in 1,000 women of a healthy weight will develop a weight-related cancer in their lifetime, whereas 274 obese women will be affected.
Why is this the case?
There are actually a number of ways that obesity affects the likelihood of developing cancer, one of which is how a person’s fat cells produce certain hormones like oestrogen. Research has shown us that oestrogen fuels cancer cell growth.
The good news is that by simply losing weight and slimming down, you can lower the risk of developing weight-related cancers.
Reducing your risk of cancer usually involves lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating healthier foods. However, it is important to understand that these lifestyle changes are not a guarantee against the development of cancer, although they do reduce your risk.
Losing weight is very challenging for many people, but it doesn’t have to mean giving up your favourite foods forever, joining a gym, or even running for ten miles a day. Even the smallest of changes can go a long way in impacting your health and helping you to lose weight.
What can you do to reduce your risk of obesity?
Simple changes like getting off the bus a stop or two early and walking a little further allow you to sneak in some extra exercise. You could also cut down on sugary and fatty foods.
Remember that losing weight does take time, so be prepared for gradual changes and progress. These gradual changes make it easier to achieve a healthier lifestyle that you can maintain.