The teenage diet could increase your daughter's breast cancer risk

That age old saying, "you are what you eat," even applies to teenagers -- especially teenage girls.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - There are a lot of things moms can do to make sure their teenage daughter gets off to a good start, and now you can add one more thing to that list.

Making sure they’re not over indulging in a diet high in fat and sugar.

All of those yummy foods our teens can't get enough of are setting them up for a higher risk of breast cancer in their 20's and 30's.

“If it's a habitual thing, a daily thing, that's going to cause more inflammation later on in life," said Liz Weber, a dietician with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. She says inflammation was the basis for a study by researchers at UCLA.

After studying women over 22 years from high school until their early 40's, they found those who ate an inflammatory diet, one filled with red meat, high fat, sugar and processed meats had a 35 percent increase in getting breast cancer before they turned 50.

"If you have all of that inflammation going on when you're young, that's when it's going to have the most impact when your cells are trying to grow properly," Weber continued. "The mammary gland, that's when its first developing and the diet so early, on that's why it's important to have a good diet."

Weber adds inflammation can cause a lot of damage. "It causes the body to be chronically, almost always fighting something off. So it over all just causes damage to the organs.

"It makes the organs work harder, it causes more abdominal obesity which is right around those organs making it harder for them to do their job."

The best advice Weber has for reducing your teenage daughter's risk for breast cancer early on, is to make sure they understand the importance of healthy eating.

If you’d like to read the complete study, here’s a like to the Nurse’s Health Study II.

 

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