Poor Diet In Teen Years Linked To Higher Breast Cancer Risk In Adulthood; Researchers Detail 'Inflammatory Diet' Dangers In New Study

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 03, 04:00 am
Teen girls who enjoy inflammatory foods are 35 percent likely to develop breast cancer in adulthood.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Teenagers with poor diet have a higher risk of developing breast cancer as adults. A new study has revealed that young women who love eating pizza, burgers, sugar and other junk food, otherwise known as the "inflammatory diet," increased their susceptibility to the most common cancer among older women.

The experts looked into 45,204 women's data from a study done in 1998. These women, who were from ages 33-52, were asked about their high school diet from which the researchers determined the food's inflammatory score. The respondents were divided into five different groups based on the kind of inflammatory food they enjoyed as teens.

The researchers followed up with the respondents 22 years later and learned that 870 of the women were diagnosed with premenopausal breast cancer. On the other hand, 480 of the respondents were diagnosed with postmenopausal breast cancer, according to EurekAlert.

For the women who recalled eating a highly inflammatory diet in their teens, researchers said their risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer was at 35 percent. The more they ate inflammatory foods, the higher their risk.

Experts noted, however, for women whose diet worsened in middle age, no considerable risk to breast cancer was determined. This means a young person's diet impact her health in adulthood more significantly.

"A healthy lifestyle early on is much, much more important than we appreciated," study author Karin Michels said, per NBC News. The expert now wants to get the message out to parents and young women on the importance of having a healthy diet early on, especially since cancer develops over decades.

"We should advise our girls and teenagers to eat healthy because breast cancer does seem to have a much earlier origin than we have appreciated in the past." Young girls should get in the habit of avoiding processed food, meat and sweets while eating more greens, fruits and other vegetables. 

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