Most individuals are well aware that being overweight come with many health risks. Carrying those extra pounds has been linked to various health problems such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and kidney problems.
However, aside from these health issues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 40 percent of all cancers are tied to being overweight or obese.
People who are obese or overweight are now at a higher risk of having cancer.
Though the overall cancer rates went down since the 1990s, the number of overweight-and obesity-related cancers have dramatically increased, adding cancer to the string of diseases you can get from being overweight or obese.
CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in a statement:
“A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended – and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers – so these findings are a cause for concern. By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer prevention.”
Gender-wise, more cancers were associated with obesity in women than in men. Particularly, of all the cancer cases in the U.S., approximately 55 percent of female cases and 24 percent of male cases were linked to obesity or increased weight above normal.
Also, the cases were mostly seen in older adults, mostly between the ages of 50 and 74 years old.
In 2014, an estimated 630,000 Americans were diagnosed with cancer linked to excess body weight. Based on the review of more than 1,000 studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined a total of 13 cancers linked to being overweight or obese.
These include cancers of the esophagus, endometrium, stomach, colon, and rectum, kidney, liver, pancreas, ovaries, and thyroid. Additional cancers are postmenopausal breast cancers, multiple myeloma, and meningioma.
Lisa C. Richardson, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, added:
“As an oncologist, when people ask me if there’s a cure for cancer, I say, ‘Yes, good health is the best prescription for preventing chronic diseases, including cancer.”
“What that means to healthcare providers like me is helping people to have the information they need to make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, and play.”
It is unclear whether someone can prevent having cancer, especially if there is a genetic factor.
However, living a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy food options, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of developing the potentially deadly disease.
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