• 10Sep

    Better awareness needed of link between cancer and obesity

    Cancer Research have published research on public awareness of the link between obesity and different types of cancer.

    Being overweight and obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is estimated to cause 18,100 cancer cases each year in the UK.

    If current trends of overweight and obesity continued, it will lead to a further 670,000 cancer cases over the next 20 years.

    There is considerable evidence to show that being overweight or obese is linked to 10 types of cancers. This includes two of the most common, breast and bowel, and two of the hardest to treat, pancreatic and oesophageal.

    The Cancer Research report summarises findings from public online survey that was completed by 3,293 people.

    Key findings include:

    • Three in four (75%) people were unaware of the link between obesity and cancer when asked an unprompted question.
    • Those from the highest social grade were approximately 50% more likely to mention cancer as being linked to obesity than those from the lowest social grade.
    • Men were less likely to list cancer as a health risk than women.
    • When asked a prompted question only 58% of the public selected cancer as a condition linked to overweight or obese.

    The authors call for tailored and targeted interventions to increase awareness, and support people to make positive changes.

    You can read the full report on the Cancer Research website.