New study shows that almost 40% of cancer cases are due to obesity


The findings of a new study, which will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, found that almost 50% of cancer cases are linked to obesity.

The study, led by researchers at Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, observed 4.1 million participants for nearly 40 years, keeping a close eye on their weight and lifestyle.

Researchers identified links between 32 types of cancer and obesity. 332500 cancer cases were identified during the study.

Obesity and cancer: the important relationship that needs to be disentangled. The latest research has shown that an increase of five points in body mass index (BMI) increases the risk of these cancers by 24 percent in men and 12 percent in women.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for a variety of cancers, including breast, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. The relationship between obesity and cancer is multifaceted and involves complex biological mechanisms.

First, obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance, which can promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. Adipose tissue, or fat cells, produce hormones and cytokines that can disrupt normal cellular processes and create an environment favorable for tumor growth.

Furthermore, obesity is often accompanied by elevated levels of circulating hormones such as estrogen and insulin, which may promote the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors such as breast and ovarian cancer.

Additionally, excess body fat can cause metabolic changes, including dysregulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, which may contribute to cancer progression and metastasis.

Additionally, obesity is associated with lifestyle factors that further increase cancer risk, such as poor diet, sedentary behavior, and tobacco use.

Obesity in India According to a recent study published in The Lancet, the prevalence of abdominal obesity in the country was found to be 40% among women and 12% among men. The study found that 5-6 out of 10 women between the age of 30-49 years suffer from abdominal obesity. The association of abdominal obesity in women is stronger with older age groups, urban residents, wealthier classes and non-vegetarians. For those following Sikhism, it is more prevalent among both men and women. Abdominal obesity is also increasing in rural areas and is penetrating the lower and middle socio-economic sections of the society.

What effect does obesity have? Obesity is influenced by a complex interaction of genetic, environmental, behavioral and socio-economic factors. Genetic predisposition plays a role, as certain genetic variations can affect metabolism, appetite regulation, and fat storage. Environmental factors such as access to healthy food, the built environment and cultural norms also influence obesity rates.

Behavioral factors, including dietary habits, physical activity levels, and sleep patterns, contribute significantly to the risk of obesity. Socioeconomic factors such as income level, education, and social determinants of health influence access to resources such as nutritious foods and safe recreational spaces, thereby influencing the prevalence of obesity.

Psychological factors like stress, depression, and emotional eating can contribute to weight gain. Tackling obesity requires a multifaceted approach that addresses these various influences through policies, interventions, and individual behavior change strategies aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and creating supportive environments for weight management.

How to prevent obesity from adversely affecting one's health? Preventing obesity includes adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, while limiting intake of sugary drinks, processed foods and high-calorie snacks. Regular physical activity is essential, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Prioritize adequate sleep and manage stress levels to aid overall health and weight management. Avoid sedentary behavior by reducing screen time and incorporating more activity into daily routines. Additionally, seek help from health care professionals for personalized guidance and strategies tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

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