Obesity and cancers

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Obesity responsible for half a million cancers per year

Every year, 4% of the worldwide diagnosed cancers have their origin in obesity in common, but the rate almost doubles in countries like the US. There are 500,000 cases of cancer attributable to excessive weight.

DATE: July 2019
AUTHOR: Rui Madeira | Health

According to Magazine Visão, a new study by Harvard University and Imperial College London suggests that obesity is not only a risk factor for cancer: it is responsible for 544,300 cases a year worldwide. But if in the United States, where one in three adults is obese, overweight accounts for almost 7% of cases, in poor countries with Ethiopia or India, the rate drops to less than 1%.

The link between obesity and cancer remains unclear, unlike the relationship between this factor and the increased risk of heart disease or diabetes, for example. One of the hypotheses considered is that high levels of insulin found in overweight people stimulate the growth of some cancers; Another, points to the inflammation related to obesity, which may be carcinogenic in itself; In the case of women, obesity can lead to an increase in estrogen levels, which, in turn, contributes to the onset of breast and endometrial cancers.

In March of this year, Cancer Research UK released a study linking obesity in adulthood to 13 types of cancer, and more recently, science has concluded that being obese is a likely cause of prostate, mouth and esophagus cancers.

Between 1975 and 2016, the prevalence of obesity in adults increased about 40%, which, together with the overall population increase led to a rise from 100 million to 671 million the number of obese.

Without evaluating the mechanism linking the problem to cancer, this new research looked at the possible causes of obesity, including factors such as political and economic, that stimulate consumption, environmental, eating, behavioral, such as lack of physical exercise , and genetic predisposition.

However, while they have concluded that an increase in national wealth promotes changes in the demographic, technological and nutritional (such as processed food) levels, which may lead to obesity, the researchers stress that economic growth is not necessarily associated with overweight. While obesity rates are particularly high in rich western countries, as is the proportion of obesity-related cancers, in some Asian countries with equally healthy economies, traditionally low-fat diets and infrastructures that encourage daily walking counteract this trend.

Prevention will then be fundamental! Be active and keep your weight on a healthy footprint.