Body Fat, Not Body Weight, May Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Being overweight is considered a major risk factor for many chronic diseases, including breast cancer. But how much weight is overweight? And at what point does excess weight become a health risk factor?

Doctors typically rely on Body Mass Index (BMI) charts to distinguish healthy from unhealthy weights. Body Mass Index takes into account both weight and height, which is clearly more specific than just weight, but I’ve always wondered about the reliance on BMI.  We probably all know people who are stout and muscular, who may have higher BMI’s than some of we longer, leaner folks, but who are also more active and fit than some of we longer, leaner folks.

Well, scientists are now trying to zero in on which aspects of body weight are more highly correlated with breast cancer risk. Preliminary research indicates that a high ratio of body fat to muscle and bone mass is a better indicator of breast cancer risk than BMI. Good reason to focus more on physical activity and fitness than body weight. Read more here.

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