Teen girls who love fast food more likely to get breast cancer
Teens are known to be plump junk food-consumers favouring burgers, french fries, and sugary drinks over diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Apparently, this unhealthy eating habit has serious health consequences on teenage girls.
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that a diet rich in sugar, carbohydrates, processed meats as well as margarine is very damaging among girls at a period when their mammary glands are still developing.
To arrive at this conclusion, a team of researchers led by Karin Michels utilized data from 45,204 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Participants in this study answered questionnaires about their diet during high school. Adult diets were assessed during a food frequency questionnaire for a duration of 22 years.
Using a method previously created that links diet with inflammatory markers in the blood, each woman’s diet was given an inflammatory score.
Results showed that 870 of the female participants who completed the high school frequency questionnaire had premenopausal breast cancer, while 490 were diagnosed with postmenopausal breast cancer.
“Our results suggest that a habitual diet that promotes chronic inflammation when consumed during adolescence or early adulthood may indeed increase the risk of breast cancer in younger women before menopause,” Michels explained.
Michels added that a woman’s breast cancer risk is influenced by a number of factors including genetic predisposition, lifestyle and demographics. Their study suggests that a habitual diet or early adulthood diet which promotes chronic inflammation can be another factor.
Researcher believe that the mammary gland, which develops during adolescence and early adulthood, becomes particularly susceptible to lifestyle factors. They suggested the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and legumes and discourages high intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, red and processed meats as well as soda.