When I was a child there was a rhyme that my sister and I heard a lot. It went "Fatty and skinny sleeping in the bed. Fatty rolled over and skinny was dead." Both my sister and I took offense to this. I don't recall her ever really being fat, or at least she didn't seem that way to me, But the oppinions of other people gave her that view of herself. I on the other hand was definately on the skeletal side. I remember being told on one particularly windy day when I was in third grade that I needed to put rocks in my pockets so that I wouldn't blow away. At that age my sister and I ate the same thing in the same quantities and since we often played together, got the same amount of exercise. Until a few minutes ago when I read this article on the Komen for the Cure site, I thought that I'd gotten the easier ride in that gene pool.
"Even after accounting for factors such as age at first menstrual period, adult body mass index, and breast density, a large body size at age seven was linked with a 27% reduction in risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. The protective effect of a larger body size at age seven was observed regardless of estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor status but was stronger for estrogen receptor-negative cancers than for estrogen receptor-positive cancers."
Apparently having been underweight as a child contributed to my breast cancer risk. Still, I expect that the world, in their fat phobic frenzy will quote "Obesity is a risk factor in many cancers, including breast cancer." We'll yes, in post menopausal women with estrogen sensitive cancer.
"In the case of breast cancer, higher body weight reduces the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women but increases the risk in postmenopausal women."
In women like me, my increased pre-menopausal girth should have been a protective factor, not an increased risk factor. And also, because my cancer wasn't hormone sensitive, my weight shouldn't be a risk factor now that chemotherapy and age has left me on the other side of the pause. If I get a recurrance, or a second primary breast cancer it is overwhelmingly likely to be er/pr-, Her2/neu strongly positive. It seems the real risk was my anorexic state when I was seven years old.
The take away for me is that the medical field and the health and wellness industry need to stop generalizing and classify these risks as they really occur. And they need to let those little girls eat if they are hungry...just not McDonalds. Try some whole grains, lean meats and fruits and vegetables.