Men who gain weight during adulthood -- even those who are not considered to be overweight -- are at increased risk of colon cancer, say public health researchers from Denmark.
In this new analysis of data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, 46,349 healthy men between the ages of 40 and 75 years submitted information on medical history, lifestyle factors, weight, and diet every two to fours years for an 18-year period.
Nearly one third of all colon cancers diagnosed during this study were attributed to having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 22.5.
BMI is a ratio of weight to height; the normal range is 18.5 to 24.9.
Colon cancer risk more than doubled among men with a BMI greater than 30, which is consider obese.
For every 10 pounds gained in the last two to four years, the risk of colon cancer increase by 14 percent, say this study's authors.
Colon cancer risk rose by 33 percent for every 10 pounds of weight gained between the ages of 21 and 31 years but weight at age 21 was not associated with increased or decreased risk.
Being overweight or obese is considered a risk factor for colon cancer.
These current findings reveal the negative effects of weight gain during adulthood on colon health.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in 14 men will develop colon cancer during their lifetime.
Nutrition strategies to prevent colon cancer include eating a diet that's low in total and saturated fat, high in fibre, and high in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Click here for more information on how to reduce your risk of colon cancer.
This study was published in the September 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.
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