Link between Obesity and Cancer
Research reveals that we need to maintain optimum body weight to reduce the risk of contracting cancer. To do this, we should avoid excess consumption of wine and red meat. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) reveals there is a close link between obesity and cancer. In fact, excess body fat can cause many types of cancer including cancers of the gallbladder, thyroid, pancreas, kidney, rectum and colon, endometrium (uterus lining), breast (post-menopausal) and esophagus.
Red Meat and Alcohol are Risky
Processed meats like bacon and ham raise the risk of colorectal cancer. Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation. Health experts also link red meat to colorectal cancer and advise meat lovers to limit their consumption of cooked red meat to less than 500g a week. There is also evidence that alcohol can cause cancer. To minimize the adverse effects of alcohol, men should limit themselves to two drinks a day and women to one.
Why Obesity Causes Cancer
Research reveals why obesity is a great risk factor for cancer. Excess fat upsets the body’s hormonal balance. Fat cells cause the release of hormones like estrogen, which raises breast cancer risk. Belly fat is also dangerous as it leads to the production of growth hormones, which also raises the risk of cancer. In the US, according to 2007 figures, obesity caused four percent of new cancer cases in men and seven percent in women. In fact, obesity was blamed for 40% of endometrial cancer cases.
Obesity in America
Health surveys reveal that 68% of American adults are overweight or obese. This number has been increasing gradually over the past few decades. Among US children and teenagers, 17% are obese.
How to Avoid Obesity
- Limit intake of salt, junk food and sugary drinks.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in fiber.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Limit or avoid processed and red meats.
- Avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption.