Being overweight raises cancer risk by up to 60%

2014 Research

In the first ever edition of ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’ more than 10 years ago, I commented that, depending upon which research study your read, and what the cancer was, the increased risk of cancer was between 40 and 60% if you were more than 7 kgs overweight.

And ten years on here we are again. This time the study, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, followed 5 million adults for about 7.5 years.  And as the Body Mass Index (a measure of the fat in your body) increased, so did your risk of 22 cancers. While womb cancer went up 41% others like breast or uterine cancer went up by 60%.

Researchers estimated that in the UK at least 12,000 cases of cancer a year (out of about 280,000, excluding skin cancer) were due to being overweight. With obesity levels expected to go from 25% at present, to 40% by 2030, urgent help with prevention needs to be taken by the Government.

Experts suggested more open areas, more exercise classes, increased taxes on high calorie foods and fizzy soft drinks might be a sensible start.

2014 Research
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