Take Control of Your BMI to Avoid This Deadly Cancer

In All Health Watch, Cancer, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Fitness and Exercise

It’s no secret that being overweight or obese puts you at a greater risk for certain types of cancer.

And if you’re a woman with a high body mass index (BMI), your risk for one deadly cancer jumps. Your BMI uses your height and weight to determine a relative health risk for obesity and other related diseases.

The higher the BMI value, the less healthy a person is considered to be. The average BMI range for women over 20 years old is 19-25.

Granted, BMI is not an accurate gauge of body fat. Bodybuilders, for example, tend to have a very high BMI. But if you look at the overall population, there are (a lot) more overweight people than bodybuilders. So from a more general viewpoint, a higher BMI usually translates to being overweight.  Having said that…

A study out of the American Institute for Cancer Research shows that BMI can be used as a measure of your risk for this type of cancer. For every five-point increase in BMI, your risk for developing this cancer rises by 6 percent.1 It’s a cancer that is hard to detect early on. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

Researchers looked at data from over 120 different studies and four million women. They determined that risk begins to increase at the high end of being overweight. That’s a BMI of 30.2 Let’s take a look at what this means in your everyday life.

Let’s say that you and your friend are both five feet five inches tall. You weigh 150 lbs. That makes your BMI 25. But your friend is about 30 pounds heavier than you are. That puts her BMI at 30. This means regardless of any other lifestyle factors, her risk for this deadly cancer is at least six percent higher than yours.

If you don’t think a six percent increase matters, think again.

Most women think that ovarian cancer is an “older woman’s disease.” That’s because post-menopausal women make up about 70 percent of ovarian cancer diagnoses. But younger, pre-menopausal women are at risk too—especially if you’re overweight or obese.3

The warning signs to look out for include abdominal pressure or bloating, pelvic pain, persistent gas or indigestion, loss of appetite, low energy levels, and sudden increased abdominal girth.4

We don’t agree that BMI itself increases your odds… It’s carrying around extra, unhealthy weight. We’d like to see another study that focuses just on that.

So how can you lose weight and reduce your risk for ovarian cancer?

You can’t go wrong with exercise. It’s the secret “drug” for living a longer life. You can also add more lycopene to your diet from fresh tomato juice and buffalo berries. It raises your levels of adiponectin. It’s a hormone found in higher levels in lean women that regulates blood sugar and fat storage. Ovarian cancer kills over 14,000 women in the US each year. It’s the fifth-deadliest cancer. But by taking control of your BMI, you’ll help lower your risk.

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