Obesity & Cancer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as a nation, we spend nearly $75,000,000,000 a year treating diseases related to weight. Cancer is one of them.

Health experts say that's because people who are overweight tend to have higher circulating insulin, and higher circulating estrogen. And those hormones are related to cell and tumor growth.

One way to reduce your cancer risk is to maintain a healthy weight. That's why over 1,500 residents stepped on scales in Atlanta to promote the American Cancer Society's 2nd Annual Great American Weigh-in, which will take place March 3rd. It's the day when the society and founding partner Weight Watchers International encourage people to learn their body mass index, or B.M.I., an indication of whether you are at a healthy weight.

Experts say body mass index is a calculated number that takes into account a person's height and weight, and has been linked very closely statistically with how much body fat you carry and also what kind of a risk you have for several diseases including cancer.

Free B.M.I. screenings and tips on how to reduce your risk of cancer will be available all day on March 3rd at participating Weight Watchers locations nationwide. And because diseases related to excess weight impact insurance premiums, this year there will be screenings at more than 100 workplaces, too.

Experts say if more people in this country were at a healthy weight we could save up to 90,000 lives every year just from cancer deaths alone.

And there's mounting evidence that eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight can help save even more lives.