A Healthy Weight Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

by Natalie on September 27, 2011

Check your body composition using the 2 methods in this post.

When it comes to cancer prevention, your body weight can make all the difference.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, “maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk for cancer”. This is especially true for breast cancer and other hormonally related cancers.

Here’s why…

Stored body fat releases hormones and proteins that cause your body cells to grow and divide more quickly. When this happens, there is a greater opportunity for cancer. If you have more body fat, you will release more of these growth promoting hormones and proteins.

So how much fat is too much? The best way to figure this out is by analyzing your body composition, not pounds. Today I am going to give you 2 quick methods to check your body composition in the comfort of your own home. You should know that more advanced devices to measure your body fat exist, but they require the assistance of a trained professional. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) are two measurements you can perform all by yourself on your own time.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a measure of your weight with consideration of your height. This equation works well for the average population. However, it usually doesn’t work well for athletes or other people with a large muscle mass. If you fall into that category, your BMI reading may be falsely high because of all that wonderful muscle!

BMI = [Weight in Pounds / (height in inches x height in inches) ] x 703

Example of a woman who weighs 145# and is 69″: (145 / 4761) x 703 = 21.4

A healthy BMI is between 18.5-24.9.

*If you are not a calculator person, just go to this website and plug in your numbers.

 Waist Circumference

This is a really important measurement to check. Researchers found that fat around the waist is even MORE active at releasing the hormones and proteins described above.

To check your WC, you will need your trusty tape measure. Place it at the top of your hip bone and wrap it all the way around your waist. A healthy reading for women is less than 31.5 inches. For the most accurate reading, take the measurement just after your normal exhale.

Use both methods to see how your measurements match up. If your numbers are high, try not to worry too much. Let it be motivation to get you moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, there is no one magical ingredient for weight loss. As you may already suspect, it takes a commitment to eating healthy and regular exercise. The best part about these good ole’ techniques is that YOU are in total control of them. You are in charge of your health, no one else! Get out there and show the world what you are made of!

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photo by: pnash

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