Reprinted with permission, J Natl Cancer Inst, 94:1704-11, 2002
 OF MICE AND DUCTS: Ductal branching (arrows), part of normal mammary-gland development, is absent in tissues from leptin-deficient (panel B) and leptin-receptor-deficient (D) mice, but is present in tissues from wild-type controls (A and C). By fostering mammary development, the leptin pathway might contribute to tumorigenesis.

An estimated 30.5% of American adults--nearly 59 million people--were obese in 2000, after their ranks had swelled 33% since the mid-1990s.1 But growing obesity rates are not confined to the United States, and the attendant health risks do not just include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. Cancers of the colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, and esophagus also are solidly associated with excess adiposity.2 (A link to prostate cancer is controversial.) In addition, obese patients with cancer have poorer prognoses. Caloric restriction offers some protection against the disease, but eating trends are clearly heading...

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