In the News: Lose weight and reduce your cancer risk

Carrying excess weight has often been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, and now recent research has confirmed the link with cancer. Scientists believe that thousands of lives could be saved from cancer each year if people simply lost some weight.

The World Cancer Research Fund study found that being overweight is linked to around 19,000 deaths from the disease each year – deaths that could have been prevented if these people had just been at a healthy weight. Researchers involved in the study believe that people could avoid getting cancer if they managed to maintain a body mass index (BMI) of between 19 and 25. The cancers that could be prevented include breast, bowel, oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, endometrium and gall bladder.


The cancer research fund is advising people to aim to be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. It stresses that after quitting smoking, a healthy weight is the most important thing a person can do for cancer prevention. The scientists believe that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented if people ate healthily, were physically active and maintained a healthy weight.


This study comes one month after research revealing that a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer. Other studies have shown that a daily portion of mushrooms and a handful of walnuts were shown to help reduce breast cancer risk by up to a third; eating oily fish rich in omega 3 was shown to prevent prostate cancer and eating broccoli can prevent stomach cancer.

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