Health: The Effects of Obesity

It is well known that smoking can cause cancer, but what about obesity? With United States obesity rates off the chart, cancer caused by obesity has become a reality.  “Obesity is a major, under-recognized contributor to the nation’s cancer toll and is quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer,” Dr. Clifford Hudis and his colleagues at the American Society of Clinical Oncology write in a new position paper.  Nearly 84,000 cancer diagnoses every single year are linked to obesity and as published by the New England Journal of Medicine, a 2003 study of more than 900,000 American adults found that excess fat “could account for 14% of all deaths from cancer in men and 20% of those in women.”  Exactly how obesity triggers can cancer is being researched but scientists believe  that obesity triggers changes in how the body operates, which can cause harmful cell growth and cell division.  The keyword is preventable, said Hudis, though we can’t control all types of cancer, we can control our weight through diet, exercise and sleep.

 Contributor: Phoebe Roe


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