In fact, oncologists say that aside from quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is actually the best thing you can do to minimise your risk of cancer, due to the increasing links they’re finding between obesity and cancer rates.
“It’s on track to overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer,” Therese Bevers, MD, medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center told Oprah.com.
While scientists are still unsure why the relationship between obesity and cancer exists, there is growing evidence to suggest a connection, with researchers finding your weight affects your risk of certain cancers more than others.
Staying active is a key way to beat obesity – watch Paper Tiger demonstrate an easy core workout. (Post continues after video.)
In a study published last year in The Lancet, researchers based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed the link between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of 22 of the most common cancer types, using the anonymised health data of over five million UK adults.
The first study of its size, the results linked BMI to 17 specific cancer types, which were significantly more than previously thought.
Obesity had the biggest effect on a woman’s risk of womb cancer, with researchers showing the higher a woman’s BMI, the greater her chances of developing the disease. High BMIs were also linked to higher risks of gallbladder, kidney, liver, colon, cervical, thyroid, ovarian and post-menopausal breast cancers.
The knock-on effects are also concerning, with The American Cancer Society claiming that one-third of all deaths from cancer in the US are linked to diet and physical activity such as being overweight or obese. (Post continues after gallery.)