Women, if you are looking for more motivation to have a healthy weight, a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute may be just what you need. Excess body weight is an established risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer. The researchers pooled data from 10 different prospective cohort studies to see if losing excess weight after age 50 might lower that risk.
In the overweight or obese women participating in this study, sustained weight loss of four and a half pounds or more was associated with a lower risk of future breast cancer compared with maintaining a stable weight. Higher weight loss was associated with even lower risk. Loss of at least 20 pounds was associated with lowest breast cancer risk, even if some of the weight was gained back.
This study suggests that even modest amounts of weight loss may lower breast cancer risk in women aged 50 and older.