Excess body weight and consumption of red meat can increase the risk of cancer, even for people within a healthy weight range, researchers reported today in a 40-year international study. Being within the healthy Body Mass Index range of 18.5-24.9 isn’t enough, the Guardian reports, because cancer risk, especially in the breast and pancreas, rises as levels approach 25.
Citing “convincing” evidence, researchers advised people not to gain weight after they turn 21 and to cut down on alcohol and processed meats such as ham and bacon. One analyst told ABC the study forces people to be proactive about cancer prevention. “They think of cancer as a bogeyman that pounces from the shadows … that isn't so,” he said. (Read more cancer stories.)