The subjects of weight gain, the obesity epidemic, and their major impact on health are brought up so much these days that they’re easy to tune out. So, if a few articles and news reports here and there pass you by – on accident or on purpose – we understand. But we won’t let that keep us from continuing to write regularly about the topic because it’s something we’re passionate about here at CNiC.
The researchers also calculated the percent of specific cancers likely caused by being obese or overweight (figure). Five percent of all breast cancers diagnosed after menopause were linked to weight, as well as 11 percent of all colon cancers. Each of these cancers is quite common. Less common – but still very important – cancers had much greater percentages linked to weight.
In an accompanying editorial, titled Obesity: a certain and avoidable cause of cancer, Peter Campbell of the American Cancer Society concludes:
“We have sufficient evidence that obesity is an important cause of unnecessary suffering and death from many forms of cancer, in addition to the well recognised increased risks of mortality and morbidity from many other causes. More research is not needed to justify, or even demand, policy changes aimed at curbing overweight and obesity.”
We certainly agree. It’s time to act more forcefully for prevention. Yet, even though disease prevention is increasingly listed as a public health priority, funding and political backing for prevention programs still often lag behind fields like treatment and diagnosis. If we are to truly make headway in the fight against obesity and other key risk factors, prevention needs funding and political will commensurate with its large potential to reduce future disease burden.