For postmenopausal women, weight gain brings with it increased risk for serious illness. The extra danger of breast cancer and other problems creates an urgent rationale to control your
weight and keep on exercising as you age.
A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research demonstrates that gaining additional weight during menopause is especially bad for women who are already obese upon entering menopause, placing such women at higher risk for aggressive breast cancers than leaner women.
“By using nutrient tracers for fat and sugar, we tracked where the body stored excess calories. In lean models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by the liver, mammary and skeletal tissues. In obese models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by tumors, fueling their growth,” says researcher Erin Giles.
“While drugs may be useful in controlling breast cancer risk in obese, postmenopausal women, our results imply that a combination of diet and exercise may be equally if not more beneficial,” Giles says.