Many studies show that people who store fat primarily in their bellies, and not in their hips, are at increased risk for heart attacks and diabetes. A study from London, England shows that abdominal obesity markedly increases a woman's chances of developing breast cancer.

When a woman stores fat primarily in her belly, she also stores huge amounts in her liver. Insulin is called out by a rise in blood sugar after eating and then is removed immediately by the liver. Extra fat in the liver prevents the liver from removing insulin, so blood insulin levels rise and stay elevated. Insulin acts on the brain to keep you hungry and causes your liver to make more fat. Insulin also causes the ovaries to produce large amounts of both male and female hormones that stimulate the breast, which can lead to uncontrolled growth, which is cancer.

Upper abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and breast cancer risk. nternational Journal of Obesity, 2002, Vol 26, Iss 6, pp 747-753. A Stoll. St Thomas Hosp, Dept Oncol, London SE1 7EH, ENGLAND

Checked 9/5/05

Get our newsletter