Excess body weight and the world of cancer

Excess body weight and the world of cancer
© iStock/enot-poloskun

According to new studies, excess body weight is an established cause of cancer, currently known to be linked to 13 cancers.

A new study looking at the share of cancers related to obesity finds the proportion of cancer cases that could be attributable to excess body weight reflects variations in obesity rates in the U.S.

The burden of obesity-related cancers

Cancers related to body weight are twice as predominant in women than in men.

While differences in excess body weight is well-known across countries and cities, there is little information on the burden of obesity-related cancers.

To learn more, American Cancer Society investigators led by Farhad Islami, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director, Surveillance Research, calculated the population attributable fraction (PAF) of incident cancer cases attributable to excess body weight among adults in all 50 states of America and the District of Columbia.

They found that in both men and women, there was at least a 1.5-fold difference between states with the highest and lowest proportions of cancers attributable to excess body weight.

Among men, the population attributable fraction (PAF) ranged from 3.9% in Montana to 6.0% in Texas. Meanwhile, the PAF for women was approximately twice as high as for men, ranging from 7.1% in Hawaii to 11.4% in the District of Columbia. States with largest PAFs were mostly located in the South and Midwest, plus Alaska and the District of Columbia.

The proportion was far greater for some individual cancer types.

“The proportion of cancers attributable to [excess body weight] varies among states, but [excess body weight] accounts for at least 1 in 17 of all incident cancers in each state.” Explained the researchers.

“Broad implementation of known community and individual-level interventions is needed to reduce access to and marketing of unhealthy foods (e.g. through a tax on sugary drinks) and to promote and increase access to healthy foods and physical activity, as well as preventive care.”

49 COMMENTS

  1. best to just kill all us fat people save the dough! no wait there is no money in that. what is wrong with our system is the medical community cannot survive if anything gets cured . there is no money is curing disease none it why you will never see a cure for cancer or diabetes or any mainstream health concern that make money . time for us to wake up and smell the profit margins of a cure verses just treating symptoms .

    • You didn’t need a study to prove excess weight is harmful to your health. The bigger picture is, of course, we all pay more money to ensure our insurance benefits. We should all be more responsible for our own health. Put down the donut and take a walk. I’m not a fat person hater, I’m a realist.

    • This is really silly… I made a nice living doing Pap smears to detect changes leading to cervical cancer,looking for early signs of diabetes and instituting treatment and so forth in fifty-three years as a practicing MD

    • Next…. they will say that people that exercise have more heart attacks than fat people. The Insurance companies will raise prices on both. Its a Win, Win for them. Why in the world do people need to discriminate on Race, gender, religion, and now weight? Where will it end? ? This all started 10 years ago during the Obama rule that was supposed to make us all love each other.

    • same as COPD, millions die yearly, known since WW2, and not one advance treatment etc. Pharmacy companies do not want to solve any.

      Leave the folks alone and find a cure. Stop this control thinking.

  2. People have to want to get healthy. Most people do not want to. They want French fries instead of steamed broccoli. They have to have their BIG GULP and their sugary latte. Kids don’t play sports or hike and fish or ride bikes. They sit on their butt playing video games. Adults are just plane lazy. They won’t even walk a grocery cart back to the store after buying all their fatty, sugary, chemical laced foods. They leave it next to your car so it can eventually roll into yours. Cut off their disability checks and sick pay. They’ll get healthy. If your fat ass won’t fit in an airline seat you have to buy 2 seats. Enforce weight requirements for employment. For safety reasons. In amusement parks put weight limits on rides and Don’t allow those annoying motorized carts into parks. Make them walk or if they are truly disabled someone can push them in a wheelchair. Allow motorized wheel chais only.
    Taxing sugar will not work. Many fats and other foods turn to sugar in your body.

    • No fats turn into sugar. Ever. Sugars, in their myriad forms, turn into energy to be used by the muscles. If there is more energy than needed, the body converts it to fat and stores it. Eat few carbs, no fructose, good fats, lose weight and avoid cancer. Cancer cells are desperate for energy and your body is happy to feed them. Stay lean.

    • Let’s see what life deals you and how cold your view will be when it does. Can’t really picture you giving much of your check to help those in need as it must be their fault, thereby relieving you of having to feel guilty for not giving any money. I hope you are perfect as you have set yourself up to be, so should something befall you, good luck and hopefully those who do care will come to your assistance.

  3. Pretty worthless to group by state. Why not at least something more creative, like the name of their dog or the color of the house they live in?

  4. Make everyone pay for their own health care and insurance. Let actuaries price premiums based on controllable factors. Why do I have to pay as much for insurance as some lardass who drinks BigGulps all day motoring around in WalMart?

    • Really? You need ask?
      The left has declared equality of benefit not equality of effort or contribution. You pay for their benefit. If they worked, they would not need their EBT cards and would expend a few calories. If the EBT was replaced with a healthy ration, then they would not be buying BigGulps with EBT cards BigGulps. It will not happen. The left needs everyone drinking BigGulps so that they can exercise control through the rationing of health care.

  5. It’s how much you eat, relative to what you burn by daily activity, not what you eat, that makes you fat. I got really fat by eating too much, (mostly of healthy foods, ironically) and for the record I have never cared for soda or sugary drinks so banning or taxing those things would’ve done nothing to help me. Stupid idea cooked up by bureaucrats. Anyway, I eat all kinds of “junk” food now and have lost over 40 pounds. I do get off my ass more and jog a few days a week, though. My bloodwork is excellent and I feel great…and I pity the fool who would try to pry the Big Mac and fries I am going to have for lunch from my grip!

  6. It’s probably not being overweight that causes cancer but the accompanying habits that obese people also indulge in such as smoking. I’m overweight by about 60 lbs but don’t smoke. I had an Uncle who was overweight much of his life but he lived to the age of 90. Could he have lived to age 100 by losing weight? Maybe, but he also didn’t smoke and stopped drinking in his 20”s. Again, these studies or the reporting on them are too limited in scope to have the complete picture.

    • Your personal story does not mean anything. My cousin smokes and has rationalizes that he will be fine because of an aunt who smoked into her nineties. You are doing something that is always a fail, by seeking out confirmation bias. You are overweight. Lose that 60 pounds or you are going to suffer unnecessarily. Most Americans will die from complications related to being overweight, such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. And if you even lose the weight, there is no guarantee that you will not get cancer. At least you will feel better by removing the weight equivalent of a bench press bar with two 10 pound weights.

  7. I agree that people need to be self motivated in order to move toward a healthy lifestyle. As part of the environment people are continually bombarded with neuroscience-based media telling them to eat fast and unhealthy food, and then eat more! In order to get their attention I think a Warren’s comment is interesting. Perhaps there should be tiered health insurance rates that reward those with healthy lifestyles as measured through physician monitored metrics such as BMI, BP and other factors such as non-smoking, low alcohol consumption, weight management, etc. While these measures are not perfect they are a start and with physicians guidance can help people become rewarded financially through lower rates for compliance. Also, higher rates for those with unhealthy lifestyles makes them financially responsible for their choices.

  8. No one wants to be fat. Everyone wants to be healthy. Being fat is a symptom of metabolic disorder; as is the increase in systemic inflammation; and thus diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. The establishment focuses on the symptoms and not the cause. I can only imagine this is on purpose. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Given the choice, rats will push the proverbial button for sugar over heroin. The solution is simple: keto or fasting diets. It’s equivalent to asking a heroin addict to go cold turkey when they are literally surrounded by almost free heroin. As someone already pointed out – there is not money in curing these diseases. Physicians and Big Pharma have no motivation to keep people healthy, and big government can’t have the average person living into their 90’s and not paying taxes.

    • Your on the right track and the answer for some is as you stated, for others it’s more complicated. Drugs are rarely the answer, diet can get you a long way, but for some it’s more nuanced.

    • It’s worse than carbs just making you fat. Carbs that fully digest in the upper GI tract generate metabolic chaos. Your body literally self destructs just like an engine on low octane fuel. High glycemic foods short circuit your internal control mechanisms.

    • How do you figure you fixed your sleep apnea if you use a CPAP? Stop buying into the lies, doctors generally suppress not heal. Try large doses of RNA, once or twice a day, do some research and take safe dosages. In two weeks to 6 months your CPAP machine will go from being a valued treasure to a piece of junk. Sleep Apnea is very inflammatory, make sure you pound the anti-oxidants before and after sleep, large doses of vitamin C will help, although I take a cascade of anti-oxidants before and after sleep. At least 12 grams pure ascorbic acid, large amounts of hydrogen water and several other supplements that help minimize free radical damage, caused by poor sleep.

  9. Correlation doesn’t prove causation, for anyone that has a basic understanding of how the body works and has read the research, the body uses fat as a superfund site for toxicity as well as a way to store calories. Thus, those who are toxic seal off the toxicity into fat deposits. Those with toxic deposits are more prone to disease, those who just ate too much are lumped in with the others and this research is non-conclusive.

  10. Im sorry I have to laugh at the comment by Claire who gained weight by eating healthy and lost 40 pounds eating Big Mac and fries.

    • This act may not be repeatable, she beat the Heck out of her detox pathways, it only works if everything is working great. But this treatment of the body is a sure way to make sure the gears will grind to a halt.

  11. Too much of anything is bad for you and your body.
    It used to always be ABC study finds XYZ is bad for you.
    Then it turned into NEW study finds XYZ is good for you.

    Get real, it comes down to taking care of yourself.
    Anything you do that is not good is only considered
    as a contributing factor, not the root cause.
    You could live on a deserted island and still get cancer.

  12. Not news. One does not get obese unless one’s insulin levels are elevated; fat is not deposited in the absence of insulin (which is why keto- diets work). Insulin is a factor in cancer cell growth. No insulin/no cancer growth. Cancer researchers who want to grow cancer cells in petri dishes–and keep getting their research grants–must add insulin to the petri dishes. It’s been known for decades.

  13. There is a movie out there called ‘FAT HEAD’ that documents all the junk science like this above. When the government can’t get scientists to back their junk science, they fire them until they find some that do.

    Humans have craved fat in their diet since early time, it’s genetic. Nathan Pritikin lived his healthy diet, got leukemia and committed suicide which is caused by diets like his. It’s a proven fact that his kind of diets bring on clinical depression.

  14. The trouble with modern man is no one feels ashamed anymore. 75% of American adults are overweight or obese. Shame on them all and their endless excuses for being big fat pigs.

  15. Early fat deaths leaves more social security money for longer living skinny people. I predict fat is the victim and skinny is the oppressors. Fat good,,, skinny bad.

  16. I’m 5’11” and weighed 305lbs in 2012. I had a PSA of 22 and prostate cancer. I knew if I chose mainstream medicine within 2 yrs I’d be dead, along with tremendous suffering. I chose Natural Medicine and a natural diet, the way nature intended. Not man’s chemical laden foods. I’m glad I did! I lost 127lbs and cured my cancer! No chemo, drugs or surgery. Getting cancer was a gift! I have maintained my weight @ 178lbs for the last 7 yrs. It was a major lifestyle change. I’m 70 yoa. and I take NO medications and I have a rare life threatening metabolic disorder. Another gift, I cured my diabetes! I had an A1c of 12+ and blood sugars in the 300/400 range. Last week my A1c was 5.7 and my PSA was 2.8 Medications/drugs are an unnecessary evil! We’re not following the Natural Order and we’re paying a very high price.

  17. So where is the link to the bleepin study? What are the “13 cancers linked to obesity”? What a waste of a headline and my time.

  18. An absence of shame helps explain both the current medical (obesity) “crisis”, and rank laziness. Consider, I have seven siblings, none of whom have taken a dime via government handout. Also, to a person, we are in very good shape. Why? To be on the dole, or to be lazy was a source of great condemnation (allowing for those that actually need assistance) by my parents. There is no excuse for the lazy. So, we all work hard, and work out enough. It would be shameful to be otherwise. Not self-aggrandizIng here; none of you know me. Point8ng our some accurate observations.

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