Can Excess Body Weight Increase Cancer Risk?

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Excess Body WeightCan Excess Body Weight Increase Cancer Risk?

Growing data suggests a strong relationship between excess body weight and increased risk of certain cancers.

“In the United States, the percentage of overweight and obese adults and children has soared over the last several decades” according to the American Cancer Society. Being overweight or obese may affect the body’s immune system and inflammation; the body’s levels of certain hormones and proteins; and how the body’s cells grow and divide.

An estimated 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese resulting from poor nutrition and/or lack of physical activity.

To find out if you are carrying excess body weight, follow these 3 steps recommended by the American Cancer Society:

1. Measure your body mass index (BMI):

  • Weight (lbs.) x 703 / Height (in.) x Height (in.)

*Calculating BMI may not be the most useful method for all body types; consult your physician.

2. Understand your results:

  • Underweight: <18.5
  • Normal: 18.5-25
  • Overweight: 25-30
  • Obese: >30

 3. Take action if you’re overweight or obese

  • Decrease calories consumed: Eat less junk and more fruits & veggies
  • Increase calories burned: Limit sedentary behavior and increase physical activity.
    • It is recommended to exercise 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity OR 75 minutes per week of vigorous intense activity.

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