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Most of the time people try to lose a few pounds so they like that reflection in the mirror a little more, but it turns out the benefits of weight loss may extend well beyond looking better in your swimsuit.

A new study suggests that, if you're an older woman, shedding excess pounds may also reduce your risk of developing endometrial cancer, a potentially deadly disease with which tens of thousands of women are diagnosed each year.

The research, published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, used data that tracked over 36,000 postmenopausal women for 11 years, and found that those who gained weight during the study saw an 8 percent to 23 percent increased risk of endometrial cancer. Comparatively, those who intentionally lost 5 percent or more of their body weight had a 29 percent lower risk of developing the disease during the study. In obese women, weight loss led to a 66 percent decreased risk of ...