Written by Michelle Flatt.

Weight-Related Cancers on the Rise

Recently, J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the interim Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for the American Cancer Society posted some findings by the society,

“What if I told you that our children were being exposed to a known carcinogen…The carcinogen is excess weight.”

The American Cancer Society posted the report that shares the details of their findings on the medical journal Lancet Public Health. They also published another work in 2003, in the New England Journal of Medicine that shared evidence of cancer risks increase with excess body weight.

The piece published to Lancet used 12 cancers that are known to be linked with being overweight and obese, and 18 other common cancers that are provenly not related to being overweight. With 6 of the 12 those cancers showing an increase in younger people, whereas 2 of the 18 showed similar cases.

“What is even more disturbing about the new data is the observation that for the weight-related cancers, the risk is increasing among progressively younger people, mirroring an increase in overweight and obesity we’re seeing in the U.S.” The link between the two factors may be something more severe or something we should not worry about.  Do you think the connection between weight-related cancers and obesity are connected?

The authors of the report also pointed out that as of 2014 1 of 3 children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and 78.2 percent of Americans (from 22 to 74 years of age) are also in the same situation. These numbers should have us very worried about the nation’s health.

Then as we look back to work published in 2003,

“The fact is, these warnings have not exactly received a lot of traction. The irony, of course, is the association between body weight cancer gets a fraction of the attention of other, much smaller risks.” The older published work was not taken as seriously as it should have been and unfortunately, because of that, the situation hasn’t gotten better.

However, how do we make these numbers deplete?

“We can try to do something about this as individuals: We can try to eat more fruits and vegetables and less red and processed meat and other processed foods; we can try to be more active.” As a group, Americans can make better health choices, and try to avoid unhealthy alternatives. Americans need to get out more and make better life choices to make sure they can cap out on their experiences and life in a whole.

We (Emerald Coast Medical Association) have written some other papers on how to stay healthy, and we recommend that you read those too.  J. Leonard Lichtenfeld left his readers with this,

“We haven’t worked this hard to fail. We always work hard to succeed, to improve our lives. Now it is clearly the time to take on this challenge, to make a difference, and avoid what appears to be a looming catastrophe when it comes to a disease we all dread. And that disease is cancer.”

Emerald Coast Medical Association doesn’t just care for your health, but we also care for your opinion and wellbeing. Feel free to leave a comment and discuss how you feel about weight-related cancers and obesity. Also, we will always do our best to keep you informed, and you’ll always have a voice we want to hear.


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