Obesity and Cancer: Emerging Connections

12-17-2010 10:31 AM

Most of you have heard of the increasing numbers of adults and children who are overweight or obese. You also may have heard that being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. But, you may not have heard that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of cancer.

Based on many studies in the past 10 years, experts believe that obesity and physical inactivity can increase the risk of cancers of the colon, breast (postmenopausal), endometrial tissue, kidney, esophagus, gallbladder, ovary and pancreatic cancers. The National Cancer Institute states that "even a weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of total weight can provide health benefits."

Individuals who are overweight or obese have an abnormally high and unhealthy proportion of body fat. Their risk of chronic disease is measured on a scale of height-to-weight proportions called the Body Mass Index. Individuals with BMI ratings ≥ 25 are considered at higher-risk for all of the diseases listed above - including cancer. To calculate your BMI, click here.

The American Institute for Cancer Research recently released a document noting the percentage of cancers as well as the number of cancer cases that could be prevented through a healthy diet and exercise. To see the percentage of cancer prevention, click here.

Want to start eating healthy and exercise more? Come back next week for tips on cancer prevention through maintaining a healthy weight and being more physically active.

Other websites of interest on this topic:  

The American Institute for Cancer Research  

The National Cancer Institute 

Page last updated: 2/18/2015 10:36:48 AM