Saturday, June 20, 2015

Could Your Fat Past Mess You Up Today?

If your belly bulged as a teen, your risk for this deadly disease might be greater now

Your old junk-food days could come back to bite you: Being overweight as a teen can increase your risk of colon cancer later on, suggests new research from Sweden.

After analyzing medical records of over 200,000 men, the researchers discovered that guys who had obese BMIs between the ages of 16 and 20 were twice as likely to have developed colon cancer 35 years later than those in the normal weight groups.

(We should note that BMI isn’t exactly the best tool to assess whether you’re lean or fat. In fact, when you use BMI, it means Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Is Technically Obese!)

Overweight people tend to have problems with inflammation, which may play a role in development of colon cancer. But it’s not clear whether or not this was the reason for the link in the study, says author Elizabeth Kantor, Ph.D. 

While researchers couldn’t determine whether dropping the extra weight as adults would reduce colon cancer risk, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a shot, since shedding pounds is essential to staying healthy. Research shows overweight people hold a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

(Looking for a simple, smart way to shrink your gut? Try our Lose Your Spare Tire! Program. It’s the easiest way to drop 10, 20, or even 50 pounds!)

In the meantime, make small changes to your diet to help protect yourself against colon cancer. Upping your daily fiber intake could reduce your risk, according to a British study.

Stick with naturally fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—fiber supplements haven’t been found to have the same cancer-slashing effects. 

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