Overweight and obesity were linked to other eight types of cancers in a recent study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The agency is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the research discovered that overweight promotes inflammation and overproduction of estrogen, both related to cancer.
The IARC first associated colorectal, esophageal, renal cell carcinoma, breast cancer with postmenopause in women, and uterine endometrial cancer with high rates of Body Mass Index (BMI) in 2002.
After reviewing more than one thousand papers doctors of the IARC found out that obesity and overweight can provoke other eight cancers. The new list includes stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, ovarian and thyroid cancer, meningioma, and multiple myelomas. Additionally, other three cancers could be linked to the same condition, including fatal cancer of the prostate, breast cancer in men, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, but there is not enough evidence to confirm the relation.
The study found that excess body fat increases the risk of carcinogenesis due to chronic inflammation and dysregulation of the metabolism sex hormones, specifically estrogen.
Dr. Graham Colditz led the 2016 research, and it represents an update of the 2002 study. Graham and his team are responsible for both studies, and they are published in the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention.
Changing the speech could change people’s mind
The study was not released with a title saying overweight/obesity increases the risk of cancer. Instead, the IARC presented its findings as “the absence of excess body fatness reduces the risk of cancers.”
Colditz said in a press release that public health should focus on ways to lose weight because it is something that people can control. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight could significantly reduce risks of cancer.
According to MedScape, in 2013 there were about 4.5 million deaths related to high BMI worldwide, and the new study describes more deaths to overweight and obesity.
Obesity is a problem in almost every country in the world, and it is estimated that there are more obese people than are underweight on the planet. Statistics show that up to 40 percent of the population are overweight or obese in some regions. In 2014, there were registered 640 million adults with excess body fat worldwide, increasing the number of people with this condition since 1975. Children and adolescent are also victims of overweight, and they accounted 110 million cases in the world in 2013.
Bur cancer is not the only wrong that shortens obese people’s life. Overweight can cause diabetes and heart disease. The National Institute for Health said that the recommended BMI for adult men and women is between 18.5 and 24.9. If a person is between 25 and 29.9, he or she is considered obese.
What to do to prevent overweight and obesity in the population
IARC director Christopher Wild, P.h.D., says that new evidence proves how important is to take into consideration WHO recommendations on improving diets and physical activity patterns both in individuals and societies.
To change people’s lifestyles, Wild says different sectors have to unite forces, such as health, agriculture, transportation, urban planning, food processing, marketing, and education. Without coordination, it would be almost impossible to change bad habits and prevent cancer.