Gaining Weight Helps - in Losing Your Health

Endometrial cancer risks increase with large weight gains

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There's just not much good news about fat. Now late-breaking research demonstrates yet another reason why there are no health gains in large weight gains.

After menopause, weight gain is common - but unhealthy.  Postmenopausal women who gain weight as adults have a twofold risk of developing endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer as women who maintained a normal weight. Those are the findings of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

"Don't let weight weigh down your health."

Victoria L. Stevens, Ph.D., strategic director of laboratory services at the National Home Office of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues studied the impact of weight gain and so-called yo-yo dieting (losing and regaining weight) on risks of endometrial cancer.

Stevens hypothesized that yo-yo dieters would be at greater risk, because fat tissue is a key source of circulating estrogen, the hormone that drives endometrial and other cancers.

The team gathered data from 38,152 women whose uterus was intact uterus. Participants were surveyed about their weight history - including weight cycling - in a1992 questionnaire.

Of this total group, 560 women were diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Researchers found that those who gained 61 pounds in that timeframe were twice as likely to develop the disease as women whose weight remained stable.

The study found that yo-yo dieting had no effect on endometrial cancer risk.

Stevens says additional study is needed to evaluate the impact of weight gain during specific periods in adulthood and also to determine the effect of weight loss on risks.

This research was presented at the 10th American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Research is preliminary before they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 25, 2011
Last Updated:
October 26, 2011