Obesity is a global health concern. In the US, more than 69% of adults aged 20 years or over are overweight or obese. Similar numbers are found in the UK, where around 62% of individuals aged 16 or over are overweight or obese.
It is well known that being overweight can increase the risk of potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Past research has also shown that overweight and obesity can increase the risk of cancer.
Last year an eight analysis was completed. Results of the analysis revealed that 166,955 participants developed one of the 22 cancers during the 7.5-year follow-up. The researchers found that BMI (Body Mass Index) was linked to the development of 17 out of these 22 cancers, and the link was particularly strong for 10 of these cancers.
Every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a higher risk of the following cancers:
Womb/Uterine (62% increased risk)
Gallbladder (31% increased risk)
Kidney (25% increased risk)
Liver (19% increased risk)
Cervical (10% increased risk)
Colon (10% increased risk)
Ovarian (9% increased risk)
Thyroid (9% increased risk)
Leukemia (9% increased risk)
Breast (5% increased risk)
A 1 kg/m2 increase in average BMI (the equivalent to 8-10 pounds per adult) across the country’s population – which occurs around every 12 years based on current trends – may cause an additional 3,790 cases of the 10 cancers every year.