Losing weight can lower inflammation throughout the body which decreases the risk of developing many cancers, shows a new Albert Einstein College of Medicine study. In the study, nearly 400 overweight and obese postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a diet group, a diet and exercise group, or an exercise group. The women who either dieted or dieted and exercised lost 8.5 percent and 10.8 percent of body weight, respectively, after one year. The exercisers only lost 2.4 percent of body weight. Those who lost at least 5 percent of their original body weight showed the highest decrease in inflammatory proteins in the one-year followup. Previous studies have shown a link between inflammation, obesity, and increased risk of many cancers, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. “For instance, obesity has been linked to increased blood levels of a protein called C-reactive protein; those increased levels are also associated with an increased risk of breast, colon, and lung cancers,” says study coauthor Anne McTiernan. This study shows that weight loss can modify inflammation caused by obesity. With the obesity epidemic, scientists now understand that fatty tissue is an active endocrine organ that contributes to chronic inflammation throughout the body.