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Study links childhood obesity to bowel cancer

By Jack Hardy

Children who struggle to stay at a healthy weight run an increased risk of developing bowel cancer in later life, research suggests.

A Danish study of more than 250,000 individuals found young people with higher body mass index (BMI) had an increased likelihood of suffering from the illness in adulthood.

It indicated that even if the childhood weight is lost, the damaging effects can potentially carry over into later years.

Examining medical records of people who were born from 1930 to 1972, researchers put BMI scores into categories and found a marked increase in risk in each ascending category.

A comparison between one 13-year-old boy of average height and weight and a second boy who was a similar height but weighed 5.9kg more showed the heavier child had a 9% higher risk of developing the cancer.

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