A New Peril of Yo-Yoing

Pick a reasonable weight and stick to it to help ward off certain cancers. So suggests a 10-year study from the University of Southern California. It compared people with cancer of the colon or rectum to people without cancer and identified three weight-related factors linked to the cancers:

  • Obesity. People with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater were about twice as likely to develop colon or rectal cancer, compared to those with a BMI under 25. (To determine BMI: multiply your weight by 700; divide that by your height in inches, then divide it by your height again.)

  • Weight Gain. People who gained roughly four to 10 pounds during the 10 years prior to the study were about twice as likely to develop colon or rectal cancer as those who lost weight or maintained their weight.

  • Unstable Weight. People who gained or lost 10 pounds or more during adulthood were about twice as likely to have colon polyps, which increase the risk for colon and rectal cancers, compared to those who never had a large weight change.

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