Chronic inflammation raises the risk of pretty much everything you don't want to happen to your body and mind as you age. In effect, it is a source of damage to your biochemistry - and damage has consequences. Here, The Future of Things looks at what inflammation does to your risk of cancer: "It is well known that inflammation produces cytokines (immune response chemicals that encourage cell proliferation and suppress cell death), which could lead to cancer if proper cell monitoring mechanisms are not activated. In addition, another process that is evoked during inflammation has been suspected as a possible cancer inducer. During the inflammatory response to infection, immune cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils, release reactive elements, such as oxygen and nitrogen, often damaging the DNA. When DNA repair mechanisms function properly, the damage caused by inflammation is repaired before it can develop into cancer. However, the MIT team showed that once the mechanisms are not intact, the damage to the DNA can develop into mutations, possibly leading to cancer." Don't forget that packing on the visceral fat is in essence agreeing to suffer a lifetime of enhanced chronic inflammation.