Can Weight Management Lower Cancer Risk?

Posted on 11-18-2013

Can Weight Management Lower Cancer Risk?

In a recent report from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), two thirds of adults are overweight or obese. While most people know that being overweight increases cardiovascular risks and diabetes, being overweight raises the risk of seven different cancers. The AICR estimates that approximately 117, 000 cases of Cancer occurring in the United States every year are attributable to excess body fat.

This statistic, while very alarming has grave implications on how we eat, and the definitive need to create change in our own lives. Change is the one thing we as humans seem quite adverse to, unless we are made to through the pain of a given situation. Not confronting issues in our lives until we have to, is at the core of the issue. The famous spiritual teacher Gurdjieff stated, we are all asleep, the process of life is to wake up.

Every time we have a difficult situation arise in our lives, it is actually an opportunity to change or transform. Believe me when I tell you, that I understand how emotionally rooted many of these issues are. But if we just acknowledge that fact, and continue on the same path, how is change possible? How can we move from where we are to a healthier, more disease resistant state?

I was in the elevator a few months ago, going to my Kabbalah class. There was a poster that so profoundly caught my eye and my thoughts. It said, if you want to achieve something different in your life, you have to be willing to do something you have never done before!

So what can we do, and how do I start?

Small changes, can lead to more meaningful ones, but you need to start with an intention. You should think about what is meaningful to you and why you want to change. Some examples might be:

  • I want to avoid developing a disease
  • I want to look sexy and fit
  • Being healthy is very important to me
  • I love myself enough to do what is necessary to change

If we are serious, then we must look at what our weight actually is, and know what a healthy weight is for our height. Having access to a scale that has a body composition analysis is also very helpful; because it will tell you what percentage of your weight is fat. This is a key factor for understanding your metabolic rate, how you burn your sugars and the influence of certain hormones like estrogen, Testosterone, Leptin, Adiponectin and Ghrelin.

Your BMI or body mass index, while still used and does provide valuable data, has some pitfalls in some individuals. To calculate your BMI follow this formula…

BMI Formula= Weight in pounds/ (Height in inches x Height in inches) x 703

According to the National Institute of Health, and the World Health Organization,People whose BMI are between 18.5 and 24.9 possess the ideal amount of body weight, associated with living the longest, the lowest incidence of serious illness, as well as being perceived as more physically attractive than people with a BMI in higher or lower ranges.

The reason I said there are pitfalls in some individuals using this calculation is because some people who are more muscular and not overweight throw off the calculation. Total body weight, doesn’t differentiate from lean muscle mass versus fat.

So let’s use another method called WAIST to HIP Ratio (WHR), to be sure, in case we are more muscular. (You should generally know if this is your body type).

Use a simple measuring tape to check your waist and hip measurements.

  • Measure your hip circumference at its widest part.
  • Measure your waist circumference at the belly button or just above it.
  • Then divide waist/Hip circumference to attain the value.

Males who’s WHR is 0.95 or below and females 0.80 or below possess the Lowest risk

Males 0.96 to 1.0 and female’s o.81 to 0.85 possess Moderate risk

Males 1.0+ and females 0.85+ possess High risk

Women within the 0.7 range have optimal levels of estrogen and are less susceptible to major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and ovarian cancers. [1]

Men with WHRs around 0.9, similarly, have been shown to be more healthy and fertile with less prostate cancer and testicular cancer.[2]

People with more weight around the waist; face more health risks than people who carry more weight around their hips.

Pear shaped bodies are at less risk than apple shaped bodies, however if you avoid excess weight your body type does not increase your risk

Okay, so now that we have some facts and figures, no pun intended, we need to begin with a check-up. On this check-up we will discuss your personal history, family history of illness, your lifestyle behaviors and a unique non-invasive assessment of your nutritional status that I created known as Integrative Assessment Technique (IAT). This will tell me many things about how your body is functioning. I will then write a prescription for you to have a comprehensive blood test at a standard laboratory, and depending upon your presenting complaints and IAT findings, you may need specialized laboratory testing known as Functional Medicine testing to get to the root cause of your health issue. Once I have compiled the results of all this information, a treatment plan and recommendations to get you back on track can be implemented, so you can be at the top of your game once again.

If we want to ward off disease, and live a healthier and longer life, it is imperative that we work on maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and having blood markers in their healthy ranges. This scientific yet natural approach to the maintenance and restoration of your health is what we are all about.

Need more information or have questions about our services?

Call us at 212-333-7300 or find us on the web at

Yours for a healthier life,

Dr. L Marks

  • “The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love”. The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love.
  • Marlowe, F; Apicella, C; Reed, D (2005). “Men’s preferences for women’s profile waist-to-hip ratio in two societies” Evolution and Human Behavior 26 (6): 458–68. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2005.07.005

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