It is well recognised that this is likely to cause more diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A total of people developed one of the 22 cancers studied over the follow-up period. BMI was associated with 17 out of the 22 specific types of cancer examined.
There was some evidence that those link between prostate and colon cancer high BMI were at a slightly reduced risk of prostate cancer and premenopausal breast cancer. For example, risk of cancer of the uterus increased substantially at higher body mass index; for other cancers, we saw more modest increases in risk, or no effect at all.
For some cancers like breast cancer occurring in younger women before the menopause, there even seemed to be a lower risk at higher BMI. This variation tells us that BMI must affect cancer risk through a number of different processes, depending on the cancer type. Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Peter Campbell from the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, USA, says, "We have sufficient evidence that obesity is an important cause of unnecessary suffering and death from many forms of cancer…More research is not needed to justify, or even demand, policy changes aimed at curbing overweight and obesity.
Some of these policy strategies have been enumerated recently, all of which focus on reducing caloric intake or increasing physical activity, and include taxes on calorically dense, nutritionally sparse foods eg, sugar-sweetened beverages ; subsidies for healthier foods, especially in economically disadvantaged groups; agricultural policy changes; and urban planning aimed at encouraging walking and other modes of physical activity. Research strategies that identify population-wide or community-based interventions and policies that effectively reduce overweight and obesity should be particularly encouraged and supported.
Moreover, we need a political environment, and politicians with sufficient courage, to implement such policies effectively.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilogrammes by their height in metres squared. Media Contact.