In a recent Harvard University study within the next 10 years obesity will likely cause more cancer than smoking.
At present up to 32,000 cancer deaths each year are associated with obesity, but this study suggests that this number will likely rise.
What did the study entail?
The team of researchers spent 3 years going through previously published studies that showed a link between obesity and cancer.
One past study showed that women who developed breast cancer were 75% more likely to die if they were obese at the time of their diagnosis.
Another study showed that overweight women were 6x more likely to develop womb cancer.
Lead researcher Dr Jennifer Ligibel, of Harvard Medical School in Boston had this to say about the findings:
“We are at a critical point now. The risks of cigarettes have become more known, so the prevalence is decreasing, but the rise in rates of obesity has really been staggering. People are aware that being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes but not that it increases their risk of cancer, and their risk of dying from cancer.”
How does obesity cause cancer?
Research has shown that being obese causes a rise in certain hormones within your body.
Unfortunately, this means that you are more likely to develop tumours.
Those who are obese will also find that being overweight also impacts on the treatments you can have and could ultimately hinder your recovery.
What can we do to combat this?
While policies have been put in place to combat smoking and its dangers, any potential policies to combat the rising obesity rates have largely been ignored.
Instead various campaigns have been put into place to help, however whether they are going to be successful remains to be seen.
At the end of the day, if you want to change then only you can make the decision. You can be told about the dangers, but if you do not wish to change then you never will.
If you do want to change then a good place to start would be to cut back on the junk food and takeaways, instead start eating more fresh foods like fruit and vegetables.
These are low in calories, but full of nutrients that your body requires.
I would also suggest that you start eating more fibre and protein-rich foods. This is because they will fill you up, and as they are slow to digest will keep you feeling full too.
Another aspect you should look at is what you drink. Soft drinks full of sugar, or artificial sweeteners are not a good option.
Obviously those containing sugar will increase your overall calorie intake. While those artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause cravings for sugary foods.
I would suggest that you cut these completely, and start drinking plain tap water instead.
It contains zero calories, and can curb your appetite and flush out those stored toxins from within your body.
Finally, you need to look at exercise. Are you currently doing any?
If not then why not? You should do a little everyday if possible. Of course the occasional rest is suggested if you are working out intensely.
A lack of time is not an excuse. You can get a good workout and burn hundreds of calories in just a few minutes if you do the right kind of workout.
For example you may want to look at HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
If you are new to exercise, then start slow and build up the intensity gradually. If you push yourself too hard to begin then you may injure yourself, which will not be a good idea.
Being obese can raise the risk of you developing numerous health conditions, not just cancer. So you really should think about making a change.