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Four in 10 cancer cases linked to obesity, study finds

Four in 10 cancer cases linked to obesity, study finds

Around 40 per cent of cancer cases are linked to obesity, with excess weight being a factor in 32 types of the disease, research has found.

A study released ahead of the European Congress on Obesity in Venice tracked four million adults for decades and showed the impact of excess body fat.

One in four British adults are obese, according to the NHS, and the health implications are estimated to cost the country £100 billion a year.

“The findings of this study have important public health implications,” the research team, led by Lund university in Sweden, said in its findings.

“Established obesity-related cancers accounted for 25 per cent of all cancer cases in this study, and the proportion increased to 40 per cent when potential obesity-related cancers were added.

“Therefore, a substantial proportion of cancers could potentially be prevented by keeping a normal weight.”

Researchers monitored 4.1 million participants for around 40 years and, of the 332,500 cancers identified, 40 per cent appeared to show a link to excess weight.

It was recently found that people are six times more likely to be obese in middle age if both their parents were obese at that age

Health secretary Victoria Atkins previously told the Times: “We could all do with help and advice on how to be healthier.

“We’ve got to try to do that in a way that is not nanny-stateish but if we give people information then that can be part of helping us try to lead healthier lives.”