Obesity is a complex medical problem in which a person has an anomalous accumulation of body fat. A person who suffers from this weight disorder is usually at a higher risk of developing other health issues and diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and certain types of cancer.
A scale to measure obesity is known as Body Mass Index (BMI), a simple index for calculating a person’s weight for height in kg/m2. This parameter is quite important in order to differentiate the obesity in adults and older, and can be checked here at the Adult BMI Calculator. For children and adolescents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) provides a different BMI Calculator for Children and Teens
Facts About Obesity And Overweight
According to a research, the number of obese people is greater than number of people underweight. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that from 1975 to 2016, globally the prevalence of obesity tripled in numbers. In 2016, there are about 13% of adults who are obese in the entire world’s population. Moreover, amongst children and adolescents, the number has been dramatically increased from 4% in 1975 to 18% in 2016. This alarming rise in the obesity prevalence has a negative impact on human health and identifies as a global pandemic.
The Link Between Obesity And Cancer
The relationship between obesity and cancer has been demonstrated by several Epidemiologic studies. In 2002, a research conducted by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reveals the evidence of the link of obesity with several cancers and calculated the percentage of cancer caused by obesity were 25% for kidney cancer, 39% for endometrial, 37% esophageal, 11% for colon, and 9% for postmenopausal breast. From 2005 to 2008, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) accelerated the on-going research on obesity and cancer and found the possible evidence for the association between excess body fat and cancers including pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer. According to a US study, there were about, obesity-attributed 13,000 post-menopausal breast cancer and 16,000 cases reported for endometrial cancer in 2007. Until now, the relation between obesity and cancer is increasing globally at an alarming rate and different types of obesity-attributed cancers are identified which are as follow:
- Esophageal adenocarcinoma
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Gastric cardia cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
Underlying Mechanisms Between Obesity And Cancer
In most cases it is quite difficult to avoid obesity, for example, family inherited factors, birth defects cause obesity, environmental changes, sedentary lifestyle, and an individual personal unhealthy diet. However, several studies explain different mechanisms that show how obesity has increases the risk of a few types of cancer.
The low-level inflammation in obese people causes DNA damage which increases the risk factor of certain cancer. The studies reveal that gastroesophageal reflux; chronic local inflammation is probably the reason for esophageal adenocarcinoma. The gallstones are also strongly associated with obesity and likely cause chronic gallbladder inflammation, a high risk for gallbladder cancer. Similarly, hepatitis, a liver inflammation disease also causes liver cancer.
Obesity can be a possible reason for over blood levels of insulin (IGF-1), this insulin resistance also called hyperinsulinemia may develop kidney, endometrial, prostate, and colon cancers.
The fat cells accumulated in a female obese body produce high estrogen levels promote irregular cell growth also named mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This disorder in fat tissue may lead to ovarian, breast, and endometrial cancers.
Reversible Effects Of Obesity On Cancer
In 2013, research was conducted about the relationship between weight loss and cancer. The results are analyzed based on bariatric surgery, surgery performed on the stomach to lose weight. Their data claim that bariatric surgery has the potential to lower the risk of obesity attributed to cancer. However, obesity can be controlled by several means and if identified at the early stages can reduce the risk of cancers. The National Institute of Health (NIH) provides some measures for the treatment of obesity such as changing the sedentary lifestyle by increasing physical activity and having a balanced diet. Sometimes not just overeating can cause obesity but several other health issues induce abrupt weight gain. A doctor or weight loss specialist can help in identifying the problem well. The obesity at the initial stage also recovers through weight loss medication only if a person does not have any other serious health issues.
In recent years, obesity is considered to be a global epidemic and significantly enhances the risk of several cancers. Although the progress in therapeutic advances is increasing and several patients are recovered from deadly cancer but still the death toll from cancers is increasing yearly. The studies reveal that in 2012, there were about 481000 cancers reported worldwide due to obesity. Therefore, weight management is a fundamental step in the prevention of cancers. Overall, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and proper physical activity also aid to manage obesity and after-effects.