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Study links obesity and excess weight to rise in cancers

By John Von Radowitz

Obesity and excess weight cause almost half-a-million new cancer cases each year worldwide - and almost two-thirds occur in the developed countries of North America and Europe, a study has shown.

Cancers linked to obesity account for 3.6% of all those diagnosed globally, according to the research.

Scientists analysed data on cancer incidence and mortality from 184 countries and estimated the fraction associated with excess bodyweight in 2012.

They found that a quarter of the obesity-related cancers could be attributed to rising average body mass index (BMI) in the global population since 1982 and were "realistically avoidable".

North America contributed by far the largest number of cases - 111,000 cancers - making up almost a quarter of all new cancers linked to excess weight.

Within Europe, the burden was largest in countries of the former Soviet Union.

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