Research: Fat Around Girth Increases Cancer Chances

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​​​​​“My 75-year-old mother hasn’t been watching her diet at all since Dad died last year. And she has gained a lot of weight. I’m concerned since chronic conditions and cancer do run in our family. I don’t know how to convince her to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

​Your mother could be bored, depressed, lonely or needing someone to assist her, or a combination of all these things. Is she up-to-date on health screenings? If not, encourage her to see a doctor. Or go along with her. That may give you a better idea about your mother’s potential issues.

According to the latest research, cancer is more likely to develop in people who are very overweight (obese), because surplus body fat interferes with various hormone cycles and with glucose and fat metabolism.

Post-menopausal women are believed to be among those most impacted by this trend. Endocrinologist and consultant in gender medicine Alexandra Kautzky-Willer from the Medical University of Vienna and member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna said: “People with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 and above are predominantly affected.”


“An increase in BMI by only a factor of 1, for example from 29 to 30, increases your cancer risk by between 3 percent and 10 percent for various types of cancer,” she said.

“Particularly abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, has a negative impact on health, since it increases cancer risk and encourages the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, or cardiovascular disease,” she noted.

Why not encourage your mother to see a dietitian? Perhaps your mom just needs a refresher in good meal planning. If you live close by, consider hosting a weekly or even monthly family dinner, incorporating some healthy recipes into the menu. For ideas, go to ( in Canada). There you’ll also find meal plans that could help your mother stay on track and focus more on a healthy diet.

To find a Home Instead CAREGiver SM near you who could assist with meal planning and preparation, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office.

For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact us at 419-472-8181 or go to For more information about the study, visit


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