1 in 20 cases of cancer recorded in the UK are linked to weight and shockingly reports are showing that obesity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer in the US.
If the current obesity trend continues, research has shown that 72% of the UK population will be overweight or obese by 2035. Potentially causing 670,000 more cases of cancer in the UK in the next 18 years.
Perhaps most worrying of all is that when surveyed 3 out of 4 did not know that obesity could cause cancer. How can we possibly go about reversing these effects if we aren’t even aware of them in the first place?
Being overweight or obese can cause 13 types of cancer including breast, bowel and kidney. By monitoring our nutrition more closely and making positive changes to our diets it, therefore, seems reasonable to assume that there’s the possibility to reduce the number of diet-related cancer cases in the UK significantly thus saving lives and a staggering amount of money.
Carrying extra fat on the body can cause very harmful effects, such as producing hormone and growth factors that affect the way our cells work, increasing our risk of certain cancers.
If monitoring our nutrition and our caloric intake to optimise our health and increase life expectancy isn’t enough, consider the financial impact that diet-related cancer has on the UK economy each year, a staggering £5 billion or £386 billion globally.
So what can be done?
Firstly, awareness – by educating people on the increased risk of cancer associated with obesity they can begin to make more informed dietary choices
Secondly, transparency – encouraging food providers to be transparent with the nutritional value of their dishes allows consumers to make healthier choices and balance their diets
Finally, educating the next generation – taking a whole school approach to healthy eating and embedding healthier choices into school life ensures that children are equipped with the tools they need to make more informed decisions in later life.
- Can nutrition help fight illness in older adults?
- How does the NHS word? – The King’s Fund Animation
*The images and data for this blog post were sourced from Cancer Research UK
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