Obesity Linked to Cancers

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Diabetes and obesity are increasing worldwide, and the researchers project that cancers, particularly those of the gallbladder, liver and endometrium, will rise as well.

Unless diabetes and obesity are much better controlled, the growth in cancers will be significant. “By 2035, because of increases in obesity and diabetes, there could be a 20 percent increase in men’s cancer and a 30 percent increase for women,” Dr. Pearson-Stuttard said.

There’s a link between obesity and 40 percent of all the cancers diagnosed in the United States, health officials reported.

That doesn’t mean too much weight is causing all these cancer cases, just that there’s some kind of still-to-be explained association, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 kilograms per square meter, and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 kilograms per square meter and over.

More specifically, the researchers looked at the 13 types of cancer that have traditionally been associated with being overweight and having obesity. These include a type of esophageal cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, postmenopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, gallbladder cancer, and gastric cardia cancer.

A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended – and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers – so these findings are a cause for concern […] By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer prevention.

The burden of overweight- and obesity-related cancer is high and expected to grow in the United States.

Researchers add that it “might be reduced through efforts to prevent and control overweight and obesity,” and they conclude that “[c]omprehensive cancer control strategies, including use of evidence-based interventions to promote healthy weight, could help decrease the incidence of these cancers in the United States.”

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