Νew study links cancer to obesity

Excessive weight is responsible for almost 4% of cancers worldwide and this rate will increase in the future if current obesity trends continue, according to a new US-British scientific study.

Approximately four million deaths per year worldwide are associated with extra pounds, and the economic impact of various obesity-related illnesses reaches $ 2 trillion a year. More than 544,000 cancers per year (around 4% of total cancers worldwide) are associated with extra weight. This percentage ranges from below 1% in some poor countries to 8% in some rich ones.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society, Harvard University School of Public Health and Imperial College London, who published a report in the American Journal of Cancer Journal, report that since the 1970s, and obese people in most countries and in all population groups.

Today, at least 40% of adults on Earth (almost two billion) and about 20% of children aged five to 19 (nearly 350 million) are overweight. Additional pounds have been associated with an increased risk for at least 13 types of cancer.

Economic growth is linked directly – but not always – to the obesity of a country’s population. For every $ 10,000 increase in average national income, it increases by 0.4 per adult body mass index.

However, there are countries, particularly East Asia (eg: Japan, N.Corea) where, despite their economic well-being, they have low obesity rates, mainly because they follow traditional lower calorie diets. On the other hand, there are lower income countries (eg: Egypt), where obesity rates are high.

Obesity is a priority of the World Health Organization by 2025, which at the moment is unlikely, as governments, businesses and civil society have to coordinate their efforts – which is far from easy. The key challenge is to limit the production and advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks, as well as to encourage and facilitate people to exercise physically.

Among other things, according to the study, it is necessary with relevant legislation and disincentives (eg: tax) to prohibit trans fats and reduce consumption and consumption of sugar, to be stimulated with incentives (eg: subsidies) the consumption of fruit and vegetables, the reduction of food portions, the creation of more open and closed areas of sport and exercise, the encouragement of the widespread use of public transport, cycling and walking, etc.