It’s a fresh year, which means most of us have vowed to eat healthier and exercise more… and may have also already broken those resolutions. We don’t judge anyone who slips on a new diet or workout plan, but we might have some information that will help us all motivate to stay on course. According to new findings, losing weight — even just a small amount — can significantly help women ward off breast cancer.
The correlation between excess weight and postmenopausal breast cancer has been known for awhile now, but researchers wanted to discover whether or not it could be reversible. To figure that out, a team analyzed data from 10 separate studies which observed more than 180,000 women over the age of 50 for at least a decade.
The researchers published their findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute after realizing that those who lost weight and kept it off for at least five years were able to lower their risk of breast cancer by 13 percent.
That impressive result rang true even for women who only lost about four pounds, but the more they lost the less likely they were to be diagnosed with breast cancer. For example, lead study author Lauren Teras, PhD, told NBC News that women who lost 20 pounds of weight and kept it off were able to reduce their risk of breast cancer by 25 percent — even if they gained some of that back.
All of that boils down to some pretty great news for women looking to stave off one of the most common (and scary) ailments for women, especially after menopause. Plus, it’s another super-compelling reason to make healthy food and exercise choices as we start this brand new year.
Melting belly fat and fitting into slimmer dress sizes might be nice, but they aren’t the only perks!