The Cancer-Obesity Time Bomb
Malignancies are on the rise in the most obese generation in history
Most of us recognize that obesity is not a benign condition. Diabetes, arthritis, plus heart, liver and gallbladder diseases commonly plague folks who carry major excess poundage. Less familiar is the risk of cancer. Being overweight or obese has been linked to at least 13 types of cancer. Obesity more than doubles the risk of the most common forms of uterine and esophageal cancer. It raises the risk of tumors of the colon, gallbladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, upper stomach and brain membranes by 50 to 80 percent compared with adults at a healthy weight, and it ups the odds for multiple myeloma and cancers of the breast, ovary and thyroid.
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The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity
People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:1,2,3
- All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Many types of cancerexternal icon
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6
For more information about these and other health problems associated with overweight and obesity, visit Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults pdf icon[PDF-1.25MB]external icon.
What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?external icon
Learn about the risks for adults from many diseases and conditions, by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH).
Weight Loss – American Diabetes Associationexternal icon*
Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes are overweight? If you are overweight, losing some weight could help you better manage your diabetes.
CDC’s Obesity and Overweight
Obesity trends, economic consequences, state-based programs and other resources for the health professional.
*Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
3Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Smeeth L. Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5•24 million UK adults. Lancet. 2014 Aug 30;384(9945):755-65. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60892-8. Epub 2014 Aug 13.
4Kasen, Stephanie, et al. “Obesity and psychopathology in women: a three decade prospective study.” International Journal of Obesity 32.3 (2008): 558-566.
5Luppino, Floriana S., et al. “Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.”Archives of general psychiatry 67.3 (2010): 220-229.
6Roberts, Robert E., et al. “Prospective association between obesity and depression: evidence from the Alameda County Study.” International journal of obesity 27.4 (2003): 514-521.
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