4 out of 10 cancer cases linked to obesity: New study Health


Reflecting the rising threat of obesity, a latest study has found that the number of cancers related to excess weight is increasing manifold. Obesity may put a person at greater risk for cancer than was previously thought. A new research spanning four decades involving 4.1 million participants has revealed that obesity-related cancer can now be found in 4 in 10 people. Studies have also linked 30 types of cancer to obesity. Compared to the earlier 13 types of dangerous diseases associated with obesity, this number has now increased to 32. (Also Read | World Obesity Day 2024: Healthy habits for kids to prevent childhood obesity)

The research, conducted by Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, studied the weight and lifestyle of more than 4.1 million participants for a period of four decades.  (Photo by Taufiq Barbhuiya on Unsplash)
The research, conducted by Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, studied the weight and lifestyle of more than 4.1 million participants for a period of four decades. (Photo by Taufiq Barbhuiya on Unsplash)

Even though society is becoming prosperous as a result of economic growth and new opportunities, dietary patterns are becoming less healthy among a large number of people around the world leading to increasing concerns related to obesity. Given that massive medical expenses can burn a deep hole in the pockets of people suffering from serious diseases, obesity-related problems threaten to turn into a national public health emergency. As poor diet is taking a toll on health, Indian health authorities have also recently issued an advisory to reduce junk food from daily diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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The research, conducted by Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, studied the weight and lifestyle of more than 4.1 million participants over a period of four decades. Researchers examined 122 types and subtypes of the disease in one study and pinpointed 32 forms of cancer with a connection to obesity. 13 had already been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2016, including breast, bowel, uterine and kidney cancers. The study identified for the first time 19 potentially obesity-related cancers, including malignant melanoma, gastric tumors, cancers of the small intestine and pituitary glands, as well as cancers of the head and neck, vulvar and penis.

The study also found that every five-point increase in BMI – which is equivalent to gaining about three stone for someone who is a healthy weight, increased the chance of developing certain cancers by 24 per cent in men and 13 per cent in women.

The findings of the study will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice.

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