Cancer Deaths Will Double Due to Obesity, Reports Say

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Cancer Deaths Will Double Due to Obesity, Reports Say

A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund projects that the number of cancer deaths will double within the next forty years – driven by the continued rise in obesity worldwide. The evidence linking obesity and cancer is substantial. Researchers have long known that excess body fat produces hormones, such as estrogen and insulin that can increase the risk of developing cancer. In fact, a 2007 study by the World Cancer Research Fund found that a poor diet and physical inactivity account for 25 to 30% of cancers worldwide. The researchers noted that about 7 million people die from cancer each year. But, as the obesity rate continues to rise not only in the U.S., but throughout Europe and other parts of the world, by 2020 that number could reach more than 10 million people each year.

Now, an international team of experts has now put out a companion report to the 2007 study that doesn’t just address the increase in cancer rates caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices, but also the social, economic and cultural factors behind those trends.
As part of the report, two independent teams of scientists systematically looked at the evidence for how policy changes and interventions influence the behaviors that affect cancer risk. A separate panel of experts then put together specific policy recommendations for government, industry, media, schools and other institutions to help people make healthier lifestyle choices.

The new report underscores the exponential rise of childhood obesity rates in developed nations, and suggests that health authorities make the fight against childhood obesity a public health priority worldwide.

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