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Pot-bellied men face higher risk of prostate cancer, say Oxford scientists

Belly fat

(NaturalNews) Being overweight can increase a person's risk of many diseases, and where that weight is carried is also significant. A new study out of the University of Oxford shows that for every extra 4 inches that men carry around their waistline, their chances of developing deadly prostate cancer jump by 18 percent. In addition, having a high body mass index (BMI) raises a man's chances of dying from a fatal strand of prostate cancer.

The comprehensive study looked at more than 140,000 men in eight countries who had a mean age of 52. After 14 years had passed, 7,000 of these men had developed prostate cancer, and 934 of these cases were fatal. The aggressive high-grade form of prostate cancer was found to be exacerbated by obesity, with a 13 percent increase in one's risk of developing it noted for every 4 inches of waistline that were gained.

A Prostate Cancer UK spokesman said: "Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can protect against many diseases, including cancer. This research adds to a growing body of evidence that shows that weight and waist size could be another crucial risk factor for men to be aware of when it comes to protecting themselves against prostate cancer."

Another lifestyle choice that is linked with being overweight has also been connected to the disease. A study published in the journal PLoS ONE showed a strong correlation between the consumption of processed meat and prostate cancer.

There are plenty of other reasons men should try to slim down besides avoiding prostate cancer. For example, a waist that is bigger than 40 inches around puts men at a high risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Research also shows that people who are obese have a higher risk of developing kidney stones, kidney cancer, and stroke.

What causes belly fat in men and how can it be eradicated?

How men become overweight is pretty straightforward, but some men tend to carry more weight than others in the waist area. What is behind this type of weight distribution?

Drinks sweetened with sugar, such as soda and energy drinks, are a common culprit behind excess belly fat. Researchers have also found a correlation between a high intake of refined grains and belly fat. Switching to whole wheat bread and brown rice instead of their white, refined counterparts can help to mitigate this, as can adding more fiber-packed vegetables to your diet.

Another big contributor to belly fat in men is a sedentary lifestyle, so get moving! The visceral fat found in the belly area generally responds quite well to exercise. Best of all, you don't need to join the gym or train for a marathon to see a difference. Try slowly working your way up to around 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking. Strength training can also help make up for the muscle mass loss that generally occurs with age and inactivity.

Even losing small amounts of weight will help

The importance of eating right and getting regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. Even losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is enough to notice improvements in health markers such as cholesterol, blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men, and it is estimated that almost one out of every five men will develop it at some point during their lifetime. Because it is so widespread, men should do everything they can to stack the odds in their favor, and shedding excess weight can go a long way toward mitigating the risk.

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