Obesity rates have more than doubled worldwide since 1980, according to the World Health Organization, to more than 600 million adults. For years, research has shown that people who are overweight or obese have an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and other health problems. Now, eight additional types of cancer have been added to the list of obesity-related conditions.
In addition to cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidneys, breasts, and uterus, a new study shows that overweight or obese people also have a higher risk for cancer of the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, ovaries, and thyroid, and for multiple myeloma (type of blood cancer) and meningioma (type of brain cancer). Findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine show the higher a person’s BMI (body mass index), the higher his or her risk.
The study did not identify the exact reason for the link between excess weight and cancer. Body fat increases production of certain hormones in the body, which can lead to inflammation and, in some cases, cancer growth.
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