London: Women with bulging waistlines are at higher risk of developing cancer, warn experts.
Despite the popular belief that men suffer most from middle-age spread, UK government figures have shown it is actually women with the largest girths.
While only one in three men is wider around the middle than he should be, the rate rises to almost half for women in England.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, this excess in body fat is putting women at higher risk of cancers of the bowel, pancreas, breast and lining of the womb.
Experts have called on both sexes to think about shedding a few pounds if they are overweight or have a big waist, but have made a special appeal to women.
"We tend to think that men are more likely to put weight on their stomach. But these statistics show that, actually, women in England are more likely to have an increased waist circumference than men," the Daily Express quoted Rachel Thompson, of the WCRF, as saying.
"This is why it’s important we let women know that this is just as relevant for them, particularly as breast and endometrial cancers account for about a third of newly-diagnosed cancers in women," she said.
She added, that over the last few years there has been increasingly strong evidence that excess body fat, and particularly fat carried around the middle, is a cancer risk factor.