The standard measure used to determine if a person has a healthy weight or not is the body mass index (BMI). The measure uses a person’s height and weight to calculate his or her overall fat versus muscle makeup.
Women who are classified as overweight have a (BMI) between 25 and 29. A woman is obese if her BMI is 30 or above. A healthy-weight woman has a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 percent.
Just how much of a collective weight problem does the United States have? The answer might surprise you.
According to results from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 68 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight or obese. By contrast, in 1988-1994, 56 percent of adults in the same age group were overweight or obese.
If the current obesity trends continue, by 2030 it is estimated Americans will experience an increase of 500,000 additional cancer cases.
However, NHANES found if every U.S. adult reduced their BMI by just 1 percent (roughly 2.2 pounds for an average weight person) not only would the U.S. cancer burden not increase, we could avoid 100,000 new cancer cases.
Although the NEW study has it limitations, “it adds to the growing understanding we have about the link between obesity and cancer, and it appears we can directly affect inflammation through non-pharmaceutical means,” said Dr. McTiernan in a written statement. “We are not talking about drastic weight loss here, anyone can do this.”
To see what your BMI is, try The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s easy-to-use BMI calculator at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/
The results of the NEW study are published in the May 1, 2012 edition of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Lynette Summerill is an award-winning writer and Scuba enthusiast living in San Diego, CA with her husband and two beach loving dogs. In addition to writing about cancer-related issues for EmpowHER, her work has been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world.
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