Did you know that 1 in 12 cancer cases is a result of excess weight? In fact, cancer diagnoses are rising in younger adults due to obesity. Obesity-linked cancer includes colon, gallbladder, kidney, uterus, pancreas, thyroid, and multiple myeloma—a bone marrow cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is not just a recommended New Year’s Resolution, it is an important way to take care of your overall health and potentially prevent a future cancer diagnosis. Don’t wait until next month, next season, or next year to begin taking your health seriously and learning how to manage a healthy weight.
Am I Overweight or Obese?
The number on the scale does not indicate whether a person is overweight or obese. The CDC uses Body Mass Index (BMI) as a screening test. This takes your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters to indicated body fat. If your BMI is less than 18.5, then you are within the underweight range. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is normal. A BMI ranging from 25 to 30 signifies you are overweight and a BMI that is 30 or higher indicates obesity. If you’re curious about your current BMI, you can use this simple BMI calculator. However, this should be used only as a screening tool. A diagnostic of your body fat and overall health can only be determined after an evaluation from your doctor. If you want to assess your overall health and determine whether or not you are maintaining a healthy weight, contact us at The Woman’s Clinic today.
What Causes Obesity?
Your weight is determined by the difference between your calorie intake and your energy expenditure. When you consume more calories than your body metabolizes, you will gain weight because your body stores that extra energy as fat. This leads us to understand that diet and physical activity play the biggest role in obesity. Those who consume a diet that is high in carbohydrates are more inclined to gain weight because carbs raise your blood glucose levels which stimulates an insulin release. Insulin encourages fat tissue to grow. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, and wine seem to cause more problems than complex carbs such as brown rice, pasta, raw fruits, and vegetables. Fried food, fast food, and sweets also have high fat content. Eating too much of these kinds of foods can lead to weight gain.
A sedentary lifestyle prevents your body from burning the extra calories. Some form of exercise for at least 20 minutes 3-4 days a week is a great place to start if you need to develop a habit of physical activity. Find something you enjoy doing and take a friend with you! In some cases, weight is difficult to lose and obesity occurs as a result of genetics. If one or both of your parents are obese, it’s likely to affect you. This may be linked to a leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in both fat cells and the placenta. Leptin signals to your brain to eat less when your fat stores are high. When your body cannot produce enough leptin, or if leptin cannot effectively tell your brain to eat less, your control over caloric intake is lost and obesity is likely.
Why Should I Manage My Weight?
Not only is obesity on the rise as a risk factor for many types of cancers, but it is also one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and knee replacements. Your weight is often an indicator of what you eat and how active you are. Eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising have so many physical and mental health benefits. Managing your weight is not just about looking a certain way or wearing a certain a size, it is about overall physical, mental, and emotional wellness. When you take care of your body by maintaining a healthy weight, you may be preventing a battle with cancer and disease and prolonging your life.
How Can The Woman’s Clinic Help?
Our clinic offers a program called Ideal Protein Weight Loss to help you become a healthy you. The program includes a consultation with our staff dietitian and a unique plan for each individual. We understand that weight wellness looks different for everyone, and it’s our goal to help you discover a fitness plan and diet that helps you successfully manage a healthy weight. Don’t wait any longer to begin taking care of your overall health and reaching a healthy weight. If you have concerns about your weight or your risk for cancer, schedule an appointment with The Woman’s Clinic today.