Estimated Breast Cancer Risk Reduction with Weight Loss: Implications in Dietetic Practice
Obesity in women can involve predominantly abdominal fat deposition (android) or deposition on the buttocks and thighs (gynoid). Upper body fat localization has been associated with an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancers. The aim of this study was to determine whether calorie reduction and weight loss altered body fat distribution, preferentially reducing abdominal obesity and thus theoretically reducing cancer risk. Anthropometric parameters were determined in 189 apparently healthy, overweight women between ages 21–75. The study demonstrated that 64.2% with at least 4.5 kg weight loss decreased their upper body fat localization as measured by a reduction in suprailliac:thigh skinfold ratios (p ≤ 0.001) and other skinfold thickness indicative of upper body fat reduction such as suprailliac (p ≤ 0.001), subscapular (p ≤ 0.002) and abdomen (p ≤ 0.001) skinfolds. The reduction in estimated cancer risk based on a previously generated multiple logistic regression model was 45% after a 4.5 kg weight loss or more. Greater weight loss further reduced upper body fat localization and estimated breast cancer risk based on this model.