Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center.
A new research report from the United Kingdom shows an alarming connection between overweight and obese persons and the risk of developing the most common types of cancer. Using the body mass index (BMI) as a guide for healthy body mass, researchers discovered that those who were high on the BMI chart were also more likely to get cancer.
The study is cause for distress among health professionals, since obesity is an overwhelming problem that continues to get worse each year. Obesity is not a problem that is exclusive to the United Kingdom, as countries around the world are fighting to lower the weight of the entire population.
Researchers at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Farr Institute of Health Informatics, both located in the United Kingdom, published their troubling conclusions in The Lancet. The study took place over the course of 7.5 years and involved closely following the documented findings in the medical records of 5.24 million people over the age of 16 throughout the United Kingdom.
Accessing the medical information provided by family physicians through the United Kingdom’s Clinical Practice Research Data Link, the study is the largest of its kind to investigate the potential connection of BMI and the risk of cancer.
As a result of this intensive analysis, along with the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease, 10 of the most common cancers are now considered a health complication that arises from being overweight or obese.
The study is not merely a generic warning. Specifically, researchers state that for every additional 5 kilograms per meter squared (weight subjective to height) in body mass index, the risk of developing cancer is increased. Not only that, but the BMI related cancers were not rare or obscure cancers. In fact, of the 22 most common cancers that account for 90% of all cancer diagnoses in the United Kingdom, 17 of them were related to BMI.
The study further indicated the level of increased risk for specific cancers for those who are overweight or obese. For example, the risk of uterine cancer is increased by approximately 41% for individuals with a high BMI. Other cancers that showed a higher risk for overweight people include gallbladder, kidney, cervix, thyroid, and leukemia.
More research is being conducted to provide indisputable proof that the global problem of obesity must be addressed in an aggressive manner to curb the onset of such substantial health threats as cancer. As the obesity rate continues to rise in the UK and around the world, these findings only increase the danger of allowing obesity to flourish.
Mike Bundrant is author of the book Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage.