Most of us are aware that being overweight has been associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and hypertension, but it can also increase a woman’s chance of breast and uterine cancer. By using a person’s height and weight, a BMI (body mass index) can be determined. A measurement of 25 to 29 is considered overweight and 30 or higher is considered obese. According to a recent study, 40% of American women meet the clinical definition of obesity.
The exact relationship between obesity and certain female cancers is not perfectly understood, but there seems to be three factors that may play a role:
- A body being in a state of chronic inflammation is pro-carcinogenic, and obesity is considered a chronic inflammatory state.
- There are enzymes in fat cells which increase the production of estrogen, and an elevated level of estrogen has been associated with a higher risk of breast and endometrial (uterine) cancer.
- Fat cells produce hormones that may stimulate tumor growth.
Please speak to your health care provider to determine your BMI, and start using the walking shoes your loved ones gave you for the recent holidays!
Weight control is a major concern for most of us. As menopause approaches, many women experience an increase in their weight, with about 70% being overweight. Body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used calculation that quantifies where our weight is, and when using this classification, about 50% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are considered obese.
Using a person’s height and weight, body mass index can be calculated, giving us a guide to where we stand with regards to our weight. A BMI of 24 to 29 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. Let us look at where some weights fall:
- At 5 ft. 1 in. a BMI of 24 to 29 corresponds to a weight of 130 to 150 lbs.
- At 5 ft. 1 in. a BMI of 30 corresponds to a weight of 160 lbs.
- At 5 ft. 6 in. a BMI of 24 to 29 corresponds to 155 to 180 lbs.
- At 5 ft. 6 in. a BMI of 30 corresponds to a weight of 185 lbs.
Remember that this BMI number is not an exact measurement of body fat but it alerts us to where our weight status lies and gives us an indication of our risks for developing the complications of obesity. These include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and many other medical conditions.