The connection between obesity and cancer isn’t anything new. But, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology looks at exactly how and why obese people are more susceptible to breast cancer than lean people.
According to Michael Connor, an associate professor from York University who’s also the lead author of the study, fat cells in obese people release hormones that encourage cell growth–that’s bad news for anyone who doesn’t want cancer (which is everyone).
But would you believe us if we told you this new knowledge was a blessing in disguise?
While fat cells in obese people can cause cancer, fat cells in a lean person, on the other hand, can actually inhibit cell growth. This means that we have more of an incentive to get healthy. Whether you try eating healthier or commit to regular exercise, it looks like we aren’t completely helpless when battling cell growth after all.
“Both of those things can modify how a fat cell behaves, so you don’t necessarily need the weight loss, what we really need to do is change the behaviour of the fat,” said Conner. “We get so caught up on weight loss and losing weight, it may not be that that is our end goal.”
In other words, you don’t necessarily need to take on every diet known to man or hit the gym seven days a week; you just need to take care of your body.
Check out the video above to learn more about the study.