Clothing Size Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

September 29, 2014

Going up just one skirt size can make a big difference in your risk for breast cancer.

A study published in BMJ Open found increasing one skirt size per decade between your mid 20s and mid 50s is linked to a 33 percent increase in breast cancer risk.

The study involved about 93,000 women who were all over age 50 and had gone through menopause. While weight gain is already known to increase breast cancer risk, this study is interesting because it found a specific link between belly fat and breast cancer.

Women who went from a size 8 to size 10 over the course of a decade had a 33 percent increased risk, while women who went up two skirt sizes, a size 8 to size 14, increased their breast cancer risk by a staggering 77 percent.

According to a press release, researchers believe carrying extra fat boosts levels of female hormones that breast cancer cells rely on for fuel.

The Takeaway:

Dropping what you’re doing now and assuming the sit-up position won’t get you very far. Unfortunately, the concept of spot reduction, or the idea that you can target the midsection for weight loss, is a myth. Genetics play a big role in where you tend to gain or lose weight first. Unfortunately, the areas that are toughest to trim are the areas you tend to gain weight first. So, if your belly is one of your trouble zones, you’ll have to stay focused on sticking to your weight loss plan.

Moreover, your metabolism is different when you are 50 than when you were 20. As we age, our metabolism slows, so you can no longer get away with eating mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner every night without packing on the pounds.

The bottom line is if you want to reduce belly fat, you’ll have to lose weight all over. Slimming your midsection takes a combination of reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity. It’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle that will make you look better, feel better, and reduce your risk for life-threatening diseases like breast cancer.

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