Lose weight to lower your risk of cancer.

Cancer and Obesity

Your link to the latest information

CDC Report

The more you weigh, the greater your risk of getting cancer.

Fat tissue produces substances that affect how cells grow in your body. Overweight and obese people often have increased levels of insulin that may make tumors develop. There is also some research that connects obesity with how the body fights disease—altering the immune responses.

Delaware has one of the highest obesity rates in the country. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for several types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight may help lower your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Calculate your risk.

Obesity is often measured with body mass index (BMI), the ratio of a person’s weight to height, and waist measurements. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A person with a BMI between 25 and 29.5 is considered overweight, while a person with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. In addition, people with larger waist measurements have a higher risk of various diseases, such as heart disease. A healthy waist measurement is under 40 inches for men and under 35 inches for women.

Calculate your BMI

Your BMI is 32

Body mass index (BMI) is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. Excess body fat is related to serious health conditions. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit
  • Inadequately evaluate health risks of people with excess abdominal fat

What you can do

In this case, “less is not more.” Being underweight increases your risk of developing health problems such as a nutritional deficiency and/or osteoporosis. A BMI of 18 or less may be the result of malnutrition, an eating disorder or some other condition.

What you can do

Congratulations! You are within the healthy BMI range. Also, make sure your waist measurement is lower than the cutoff. Stay at that weight and check your fitness level, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

What you can do

Good news: Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.

What you can do

Obese people are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight.

Receive an email with your results and tips to improve your BMI:

Receive BMI Results by email

Thanks. You’re all set.

The BMI calculator is provided for your information only. It does not take all possible factors into account in its assessment of your healthy weight. For example, it tends to overestimate body fat in very muscular people or those who are less than 5 feet tall, and may underestimate body fat in people who have lost muscle mass, such as the elderly.

Use a simple formula to guide you to weight loss.

5-2-1 Almost None

To maintain a healthy weight, follow the recommendations of the 5-2-1-Almost None formula:

  • Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day. They fight disease and are full of natural energy.
  • Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, and gaming).
  • Get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day.
  • Drink almost no sugary beverages.

Map out a better lifestyle.

  • Explore our healthy lifestyles map to find:
    • Places to stay healthy and be active, including the closest public parks and gyms
    • Where to buy fresh produce at local farmers’ markets
    • Healthy recipes you can download
    • Free cancer screenings
  • Learn about nutrition and exercise.
  • Visit our blog for recipes, and tips on eating right and staying active.
To Top

Interactive Map


Healthy Lifestyles Map

Make healthy living your daily destination. Our wellness map will show you where you can find fresh local produce at farmers’ markets close to where you live. It also includes local fitness centers and parks.


Blog Post

Read Full Post

At-Home Workouts for the Win

Working out at home may be the only option for many Delawareans. Try these at home workouts to stay fit and healthy during the pandemic.

Read Full Post