A new study found that overweight children and adolescents receiving chemotherapy for treatment of leukemia are less successful battling the disease compared to their lean peers.
The findings of the study, published in the American Society of Hematology journal Blood Advances, says that in some cancers, including leukemia in children and adolescents, obesity can negatively affect survival outcomes.
Obese young people with leukemia are 50 percent more likely to relapse after treatment than their lean counterparts.
The study led by researchers at UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has shown that a combination of modest dietary changes and exercise can dramatically improve survival outcomes for those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.
The researchers found that patients who reduced their calorie intake by 10 percent or more and adopted a moderate exercise program immediately after their diagnosis had, on average, 70 percent less chance of having lingering leukemia cells after a month of chemotherapy than those who did not go on the diet-and-exercise regimen.