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Belly Fat May Increase Bowel & Breast Cancer Risks: Reports WHO

   |  Updated: May 24, 2017 19:03 IST

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Belly Fat May Increase Bowel & Breast Cancer Risks: Reports WHO
Highlights
  • Being overweight or obese can be the biggest preventable cause of cancer
  • For every 11 cm increase in the waistline, the risk of cancer rose by 13%
  • Excess weight can also affect insulin levels and cause inflammation
It is a difficult task to deal with the stubborn belly fat but it is the easiest to gain and the hardest to get rid of. Belly fat can not only affect the way you look, but it also comes with its own set of health risks including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and now it may even cause cancer. According to a new study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, people with increased belly fat may be at a higher risk of developing cancer, especially breast and bowel cancer in older adults. 

The team of researchers have warned that being overweight or obese can be the single biggest cause of cancer after smoking that can be prevented. For the study, the team analysed data from around 43,000 participants who were followed for an average of 12 years and more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer. The study shows that three different measurements of body size which are - BMI (Body Mass Index), Waist Circumference, and Waist to Hip Ratio -- all predict similar obesity-related cancer risk in older adults.

Further, the findings revealed that for every 11 cm increase in the waistline, the risk of obesity related cancers such as breast, bowel, womb, oesophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, kidney, liver, upper stomach (gastric cardia), gallbladder and ovarian cancer escalates by almost 13 per cent. Moreover, an addition of about eight centimeters to the hips increases the risk of developing bowel cancer by 15 per cent. 

According to lead author Heinz Freisling and scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO) in France, "Our findings show that both BMI and where body fat is stored can be indicators of obesity-related cancer risk. In order to better understand the underlying biology at play, we think it's important to study more than just BMI when looking at cancer risk,"

Researchers explain that carry excess weight around the waist can impact the levels of sex hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone, cause insulin to rise, and thus lead to inflammation. All of the above mentioned factors are associated with increased risk of cancer.

Tips to Fight Belly Fat

The two most important things to lose weight in general are a good diet and regular exercise. But what foods should you eat and what kind of exercises should you perform to fight belly fat? Here's help. 
According to Ayurveda, certain desi superfoods like sabja seeds and lauki can help. Weight loss expert, Dr. Gargi Sharma suggests that fruits like pineapple, watermelon and apples can help cut belly fat. As far as the exercises are concerned, you poses like the Kapalbhati, Surya Namaskar and Naukasana if performed daily can help you get a flatter tummy. 
 

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