Obesity contributing factor to cancer

GROWING obesity levels are being blamed for the increasing number of cancer cases around the world, according to University of Queensland researchers.

UQ School of Population Health researcher Dr Nirmala Pandeya estimates that a quarter of all obesity-related cancers in 2012 could be attributed to the rising average body mass index.

“We found that about 3.6 per cent of the cancers worldwide – or nearly half a million new cancer cases a year – were caused by excess body weight.”


Dr Pandeya said the impact was more dominant in women.

“Post-menopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer were responsible for more than 60 per cent of cancers due to obesity in women diagnosed in Australia in 2012,” she said.

According to the latest figure, about 63 per cent of Australians are overweight or obese.

“If this trend continues we are likely to see an increasing number of people diagnosed with cancers that could have been avoided by maintaining a healthy weight,” Dr Pandeya said.