Being overweight or obese presents a serious increase in cancer risk.
Excess body weight is responsible for about 4 percent of all cancer cases worldwide and an even larger proportion of malignancies diagnosed in developing countries, a recent study suggests.
“Not many people know about excess body weight and its link to cancer,” said lead study author Hyuna Sung of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
“Trying to achieve healthy weight and maintaining it is important and may reduce the risk of cancer,” Sung said by email.
But the proportion of people who are overweight and obese has been increasing worldwide since the 1970s, the researchers note. As of 2016, 40 percent of adults and 18 percent of school-age children were overweight or obese, for a total of almost 2 billion adults and 340 million kids worldwide.
While the proportion of people with excess body weight has increased rapidly in most countries and across all population groups, the surge has been most pronounced in some low- and middle-income countries that have adopted a Western lifestyle with too little exercise and too many unhealthy foods, the study team writes.
|Read on: Obesity explains almost 1 in 20 cancer cases globally|