Overweight and obesity are major causes of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several types of cancer. Data also indicates that overweight men are 50% more likely to die of cancer. For obese men, this ratio increases to 170%.
Being overweight promotes the occurrence of at least 7 types of cancer
The discovery of a close link between being overweight and the risk of developing several types of cancer represents one of the most important breakthroughs in oncology in recent years. Remember that a person is considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), calculated by dividing their weight (in kg) by their height (in meters) squared is equal to or greater than 30.
When the BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, we speak of being overweight. Several studies have shown beyond any doubt that excess body fat is associated with a significant increase in the risk of being affected by at least 7 types of cancer: esophagus, pancreas, colon, breast (postmenopausal women), endometrium (mucosa of uterus), kidney and gallbladder.
But this increased risk of cancer is not only observed in obese people (BMI greater than 30). Indeed, people who are overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) also see their risk of cancer increase significantly. Consequently, to reduce the frequency of these cancers as much as possible, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommends keeping as lean as possible, with a body mass index of around 23, and avoiding as many as possible to pile on the pounds as you age.
It is definitely worth following this recommendation because the potential for preventing cancer through maintaining a normal weight is quite extraordinary: according to FMRC experts, reducing the average weight of the population could reduce the number of new cancers.
Overweight and obesity reduce the chances of survival like a trickle
In addition to increasing the risk of developing several types of cancer, certain observations indicate that being overweight could also reduce the chances of surviving certain cancers, in particular that of the prostate. In a study of 2,546 men diagnosed with prostate cancer, researchers observed that individuals who were overweight (BMI between 25 and 29) were 50% more likely to die from it than men. thin (BMI less than 25).
For obese men, the increased risk is dramatic: they are 170% more likely to succumb to this cancer. The negative impact of being overweight on the chances of survival following the onset of prostate cancer is all the more serious if it is accompanied by high levels of insulin in the blood, a situation which is unfortunately common in people who are overweight or obese.
Thus, the researchers observed that those who had a BMI greater than 25 and who had a high level of insulin were 4 times more likely to succumb to this cancer than those who were thin and whose insulin in the blood was normal. . While excess weight is still too often considered today only from an aesthetic angle, the observations remind us of the extent to which excess weight constitutes a serious threat to health.
Given the extremely negative impact of being overweight on the chances of surviving this cancer, there is no doubt that maintaining a normal body weight should be a primary objective in our fight against this disease.
Palma et al. Prostate cancer and host metabolic factors. Lancet Oncology