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Obesity Linked To 11 Cancer Types

First Posted: Mar 06, 2017 07:36 PM EST
Heavyweight Man Eating Junk Food
A man with a large belly eats junk food.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Counting calories is the easiest way to watch one's daily food intake. But in a world of fast-food consumerism, more and more people are risking the likelihood to develop obesity -- and the many cancers associated with it.

According to a study published in The British Medical Journal, obesity is now strongly linked to 11 types of cancers. Among these cancers are of the breast, kidney, rectum, colon and pancreatic cancer.

Cancer has been the leading cause of death around the globe, with as many as 9 million people dying from any form of the disease in 2015 alone. The World Health Organization warned that the numbers are expected to keep on rising by 70 percent over the next 20 years.

Obesity, in particular, increases the risk of all kinds of health diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and, as proven by the study, certain kinds of cancers.

The Guardian reported that the study does not explain why or how excess body weight could be linked to the increased risk of various cancers, but there have been explanations proposed previously. For instance, excess fat has been linked with higher insulin and estrogen levels, as well as increased inflammation. These can cause a lot of distruption in a person's hormonal and metabolic health and can affect cell division.

Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Oxford, warned that society as a whole has to take steps to reverse obesity. He said that the risk is not confined to people who are severely overweight. Anyone who carries excess fat is at risk to some degree.

Over 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese. Fox News noted that four in 10 adults are considered overweight, while more than one in 10 are considered obese. Dr. Graham Colditz of the Washington University School also noted that avoiding weight gain in one's adult years is important. Even those who are already overweight or obese can start with not gaining any more weight and eventually taking off some pounds for a healthier life with lower risk for cancer.

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