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Middle-age spread increases cancer risk

HealthBy Sunday World
Middle-age spread increases cancer risk

Most people see their weight creep up after their teenage years have ended, with all night boozing and junk food sessions soon taking their toll on our waistlines.

But new research has shown the weight gain, known as middle-age spread, can cause a lot more damage than just buying bigger clothes - it can increase people’s cancer risk by up to 50 per cent.

A team from Britain’s Manchester University looked at 300,000 people in America, and noted the changes in men and women’s body mass index (BMI) between the ages 18 and 65. They were also able to record those who had developed obesity-related cancers.

It was found that the men studied who had gone from a BMI of 22 to 27 over the time period had a 50 per cent increased chance of cancer. However these men were not obese; obesity is a BMI of over 30. The team worked out that for a man of average weight, the jump in BMI equated to a 2st 7lb weight gain.

For women their cancer risk rose by 17 per cent by putting on 3st 7lb, or jumping from a BMI of 22 to 32.

“This research shows how important it is to look at weight gain over a person’s lifetime – to give a clearer picture of cancer risk through life compared to assessing someone’s BMI at a single point,” lead author Dr. Hannah Lennon said.

“This study could also be really useful in public health. It could help identify people who would benefit the most from taking action to control their weight before any health problems arise.”

The full results will be presented at a National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool on Monday (07Nov16).

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