What influences people’s beliefs about breast cancer and obesity?

A recent report exploring the link between weight and breast cancer risk has revealed that much of people’s beliefs on the subject, are formed by what they read and see in the media. The study, which was published last week, also showed that people draw from the personal experiences of others when it comes to dealing with the disease – rather than what’s scientifically proven.


The study was also co-authored by Genesis’ very own research dietitian, Dr Michelle Harvie, and its precise aim was to find out exactly how women understand the connections between weight and breast cancer.


The research states that: “Weight control is one of the few risk factors for breast cancer which is modifiable, and our study has shown that advising high risk women on weight loss can give some a sense of control over their risk.


“Whilst the exact links between weight and breast cancer are still emerging, it is imperative to explore how women understand these links, and if these beliefs impact on successful behaviour change.”

Health experts, including those here at Genesis, have told us for some time how lifestyle factors, such as a poor diet, can increase the risk of breast cancer. However, these findings indicate that what we see in the media has more of an impact on our beliefs.


The methods used to carry out the research included interviews with overweight, premenopausal women, with a family history of the disease. Prior to this, they’d participated in a year-long weight loss intervention programme, aimed at reducing the risk of breast cancer.


It’s important that women (and men) understand the relationship between weight and the risk of breast cancer. They can then take the necessary steps to help reduce their risk of developing the disease later in life.


One way people can do this is through The 2-Day Diet, which was pioneered by Dr Harvie. The diet has proven to be a more effective plan for tackling weight loss and reducing the levels of hormone insulin that have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, showing that small changes can have a huge impact on your health.


Why not find out how you can lose weight with The 2-Day Diet? https://preventbreastcancer.org.uk/2_day_diet/