According to some, obesity seems to be an epidemic in the United States. Medical News Today states that about 78.6 million adults in the U.S. are considered obese and about 1 in 5 children and teenagers are, as well. Womenshealth.gov shares that more that 60 percent of adult women in the U.S. are obese. Of course, most of us are aware of the health-related downsides of being overweight ( i.e. high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.) But recent studies now show that there is a higher risk of developing cancer when one is overweight.
A team at the Cancer Research UK has found a definite link in women between obesity and cancer. In fact, according to the study, women who are obese are about 41 percent more likely (than women of a healthy weight) to develop the cancers listed below:
· Uterine (endometrium)
Although the BMI (Body Mass Index) is a great indicator as to whether or not one is overweight, it isn’t the only thing we should pay attention to. Womenshealth.gov says:
“The places where you store your body fat also affect your health. Women with a "pear" shape tend to store fat in their hips and buttocks. Women with an "apple" shape store fat around their waists. If your waist is more than 35 inches, you may have a higher risk of weight-related health problems.”
Forty-one percent is a pretty worrisome number, with obesity being such a common health issue in our society today. There are factors other than simply what we eat, which contribute to our weight, such as genetics. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make every attempt to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. The healthier our eating habits and weight, the greater the chances of avoiding certain diseases. Also note that, unfortunately, there are thousands of women everyday who are diagnosed with some type of cancer or other, who have lived very healthy lifestyles and are maintaining a healthy weight.
By no means am I suggesting that we should all go vegan and be a size 2!! I’m all for balance and moderation. Achieve and maintain as healthy a weight as possible; try and practice an active (at least semi-active!) lifestyle with a healthy diet.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, run it by your healthcare provider, and see what s/he has to say. They are familiar with you and your medical history, and can provide great advice as to how to take the best possible care of your body.
Shari Grant is a Registered Nurse in South Florida, where she was raised in a (very!) Jamaican home. Some of the loves of her life are words (both reading and writing them) and missions work. She enjoys spending time with friends and family while living for a good laugh - one that makes her belly ache and her eyes water. Her bottom line goal in life is to make the Lord smile and maybe even serve Him up a chuckle from time to time, too.