Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue—extra weight leads to an earlier death, as many studies confirm.1 Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Two-thirds of those with weight problems also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or another obesity related condition.2 It is a major cause of early mortality in the United States.3Let’s focus on cancer for the moment. Check out these two new reports linking obesity to different kinds of cancer. The first is from the AFP. Apparently obesity and gullet cancer are joined at the hip—the very fat hips. Here’s more:
The probe, carried out in Australia, looked at 793 people with oesophageal cancer, who were compared with 1,580 counterparts matched for age and place of residence.Now, after you finish giggling over the word “probe.” Feast your eyes on this report. According to new research obese people have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. More from Robert Preidt of HealthDay News:
Risks of developing this cancer were higher among individuals who had gastric acid reflux, which has long been associated with such tumours.
But another big risk factor was obesity.
Those with a body mass index (BMI, a measure of fat) of 40 or more were six times more at risk than people with a BMI of between 18.5 and 25, which is deemed to be a standard for good health.
Obese people are six times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than people with healthy weight, says an Australian study that looked at 800 people with esophageal tumors and 1,600 people without the disease.I’m no scientist, but, I do a lot of reading—I plow through health news like a tazamian devil. And from what I’ve noticed, through my layman eyes, is being overweight or dare I say “fat” is never good; especially for cancer-risk. More proof:
People with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more were six times as likely to have esophageal cancer as those with a BMI between 18.5 and 25 (a BMI of 30 is considered the threshold for obesity).
According to a team from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, the finding held true even after accounting for other factors known to be linked to the disease, such as high alcohol consumption and smoking.
This suggests that obesity is an independent risk factor for esophageal cancer, said the study authors, who explained that higher levels of fat tissue in the body increase insulin production. This, in turn, boosts levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor.
1. Must, A.,J. Spadano, E.H. Coakley, et al. 1999. The disease burden associated with overweight and obesity. JAMA 282 (16): 1523-29.
2. Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. 1998. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reprint. Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health.
3.Must, Spadano, et al. Op. cit.; Allison, D.B., K.R. Fontaine, J.E. Manson, et. al. 1999. Annual deaths attributable to obesity in the United States. JAMA 282 (16): 1530-38.