Researchers have been investigating a link between obesity and cancer for more than 15 years and that link was only established conclusively in the past few years. While health officials have programs that address both obesity and cancer prevention, they haven’t tailored programs to specifically addressing obesity as a cancer risk factor - yet. Eventually, they will have to. Why? Because of decreasing smoking rates and increasing obesity rates, obesity is predicted to surpass smoking as the No. 1 preventable cancer risk factor within the next two decades.
In Michigan, more than 32% of the state’s population is obese, putting the state at the 10th highest for adult obesity in the nation. Kristin Sullivan, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society notes that, “As of right now, excess bodyweight or obesity are linked to 13 different types of cancer," Sullivan said, “and probably more cancer types will emerge as we continue to do more research."
Among those linked to obesity? Ovarian, thyroid, uterine, pancreatic, colon and postmenopausal breast cancers. And many researchers believe the link lies somewhere in the changes that happen in the “belly fat” or what is also known as “visceral adipose tissue” in the abdomen.
Read the full article from the Lansing State Journal here: Obesity poised to overtake smoking as leading preventable cause of cancer