Remember that time about a year ago when dad bods became the thing everyone was talking about? You either loved ’em and stood by that or you hated them and thought lazy dudes should just get to the gym more often. Well, if you fell in the first group, there’s bad news for you: According to a new study, beer bellies are way more dangerous than you probably expected.

The study, which was published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that guys with a waist measuring over 40 inches (102 centimeters) had an increased risk for obesity and 13 different types of cancer. If you add an additional 11 cm to that waistline, the risk goes up by another 13 percent. Increase it by eight cm and the risk for bowel cancer specifically goes up 15 percent.

The study was conducted by researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, and analyzed results from 43,000 people over a 12-year time period. Of those involved, over 1,600 were diagnosed with a cancer related to obesity during the study. Further, the study found that BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio all had an impact on the likelihood of a diagnosis of an obesity-related cancer.

While it’s common knowledge that being extremely obese is pretty bad for you, this study shows that being considered overweight or obese even in the slightest can be very dangerous. Wrapping a tape measure around your waist every now and again could help you keep on top of these risks.

Oh, and maybe put down the beer every once in awhile…

Photo: iStock/AlexRaths