Old cancer argument doesn’t hold weight

Run a Google search about how to prevent cancer–especially how to prevent breast cancer–and you’ll find one piece of advice repeated time and time again: lose weight.

But according to a massive, new study involving well over five million people, excess body weight doesn’t impact cancer risk all that much. And you’ll be shocked to learn how very little it affects breast cancer risk, in particular.

In fact, the researchers found that breast cancer is affected less by body weight than just about any other type of cancer. I’ll tell you all about those intriguing results in a moment. But first, let’s back up and figure out where the government spin-doctors came up with this junk advice about weight loss and cancer prevention in the first place…

In the 1970s, researchers Lew and Garfinkel found a link in actuarial data between increased cancer and death rates among both overweight and underweight people. Over the next 40 years, the government-industrial-medical complex spent millions and millions of dollars in an attempt to prove this association between body weight and cancer. Instead, their research brought several other findings to light over those 40 years. Of course, none of the findings fit with the politically correct pet theories. So the government disregarded them.

For example, government scientists don’t want to talk about all the reproductive factors that are clearly responsible for the epidemic of breast cancer.  And they seem to discredit the influence of artificial foods, additives, and environmental pollutants on cancers.

Plus, my own research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed that body composition and growth during childhood (but not adult weight) is a strong, long-term risk factor for breast cancer.

But the bosses at NCI didn’t really accept any of these scientific findings. Instead, they sought in vain to find a direct relationship between adult body weight and body fat on breast cancer. But that relationship has been hard to prove.

Of course, let’s not put aside the Lew and Garfinkel analysis from the 1970s completely. We have always known body weight has some effect on the risk of certain cancers. But the new study out of the U.K. that I told you about earlier finally puts some perspective on how large and important (or small and unimportant) this effect may really be.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 5.24 million people ages 16 years or older. The participants were all cancer-free at the time of initial assessments. The researchers also measured the participants’ weight and height to calculate body mass index (BMI). The participants’ average BMI was 25.5 kg/m2.

Then, researchers followed the patients for an average of 7.5 years after their first BMI measurement. A total of 166,953 people were diagnosed with cancer during this follow-up period.

Researchers found a great deal of variation in the effect of body weight on different kinds of cancer. The standout finding came with respect to uterine cancer. Women who carried 28 lbs of excess body weight had a 62 percent increased risk of uterine cancer.

The other cancers clearly associated with increased BMI were gallbladder (31 percent increased risk), kidney cancer (25 percent), and liver cancer (19 percent).

But excess body weight showed markedly lesser effects on cervical, ovarian, colon, and thyroid cancer, as well as on leukemia. Overall, it increased a person’s risk of these cancers by about 9 to 10 percent.

Fortunately, we have a highly effective screening test for cervical cancer: the Pap smear. Yet big pharma pushes expensive, dangerous, and ineffective HPV vaccines on innocent young girls instead. We also have several safe and effective alternatives to screen for colon cancer. Instead of resorting to the dangerous and costly colonoscopies. Including the new Cologuard test, which I’ll tell you about next week.

When it comes to leukemia, the effect of body weight pales in comparison to exposure to agricultural chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Exposure to these toxic chemicals can more than double your risk of developing leukemia. Of course, some agricultural workers and golf course workers are exposed to these chemicals nearly on a daily basis. So their risk is highest.

But what about excess body weight and breast cancer? Does carrying a few extra pounds significantly impact risk…as the government-industrial-medical complex so fervently warns?

Actually, no. It doesn’t.

In fact, the effect of excess body weight among postmenopausal women was a paltry 5 percent increase in risk. By comparison, the reproductive factors I mentioned earlier can double, triple or quadruple a woman’s risk. Furthermore, premenopausal women with an increased BMI actually had a lower risk of developing the more aggressive, less treatable form of breast cancer. And men with an increased BMI also had a lower prostate cancer risk.

Looking at these results, I find excess body weight as a risk factor to be decidedly “underwhelming.” Especially relative to other risk factors for the most common cancers in men and women.

See how misguided the government experts and their co-dependents are?

Of course, the American Cancer Society finds no reason to change anything about their emphasis on body weight and cancer. They and others will happily continue to promote their pink ribbons while ignoring the real risk factors.

In their wrap-up, the researchers in this study said–for once–that more research is not needed. And that’s a welcome change. I think data on 5.24 million people should be enough to close the case on this issue.

But they also said we don’t need to make any changes to the government’s advice to reduce meat, fat, cholesterol. And that position is a mistake. Ongoing evidence suggests moderate consumption of meat and saturated fat benefit health. In fact, a new study found that men and women who follow a high-protein, low-carb diet have better overall health profiles. I’ll tell you more about that important study in tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch. Stay tuned.


  1. “Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5·24 million UK adults,” Lancet August 2014; 384(9945): 755 – 765