Report: Weight affects life expectancy, cancer rates

Feb 07, 2011

Too much weight could be cancerous

Many kinds of deadly cancer are much more common among Americans who are either overweight or obese, the head of the American Cancer Society's Iowa branch told Radio Iowa.

Fortunately for Iowans in such a situation, spokesman Chuck Reed told the radio station, ACS can help.

"We've got some resources that will help you year round, not just in the month of January when everyone is gung ho about the New Year's resolution to lose 20 pounds," he said.

Those who stay overweight or obese, however, run grave risks beyond the commonly cited ones of diabetes and heart disease, Reed told Radio Iowa. The chance of esophageal cancer goes up by nearly 70 percent for heavier individuals, and incidence rates of breast cancer and lung cancer are also strongly elevated compared to people at a healthy weight.

The life expectancy impact of excess weight gain can also impact health and life insurance policy rates, experts say, providing more encouragement than ever for people to adopt healthy lifestyles and cut out risk factors for cancer and heart disease.

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