A new study has found a link between your dress size and your risk of getting cancer.
There’s a whole new reason to watch your waistline—as if you needed another one! According to a report published in BMJ, going up four skirt sizes between your mid 20s and mid 60s (that’s one size every decade) could boost your risk of post-menopausal breast cancer by 33 percent. Women that go up two sizes every 10 years faced a 77 percent increase in their cancer risk.
The findings are based on data from 90,000+ post-menopausal women that were going through a cancer screening at the time of the study. About 1,000 of those women eventually developed the disease. After looking at health questionnaires the women filled out, researchers began noticing a pattern. Controlling for family history and other risk factors, there was a correlation between an expanding waistline and increased risk of breast cancer.
Mounting evidence from different studies points to a hypothesis that extra weight around your mid-section can mean that you are more likely to develop cancer. This could be because having higher levels of certain hormones, like estrogen, can also be linked to having more belly.
Offering up another hypothesis on the matter, coauthor Dr. Usha Menon stated, “Previous studies suggest that body fat around the waist is metabolically more active than fat tissue elsewhere in the body.
So what does this mean for you? It means that you now have extra motivation to hit the gym or go for a walk so that you can keep your risk of breast cancer under some form of control.