According to a research conducted by the Cancer Research UK, being overweight or obese is one of the leading cause of cancer in the United Kingdom whiles those caused by smoking are falling. The research revealed that more than a third of cancers were avoidable. In the UK being overweight caused 6.3% of all cancer cases, a rise in the previous 5.5% in 2011. The case of smoking is however declining. In the year 2011, smoking which was by far the leading cause of cancers dropped from 19.4% to 15.1% followed by being overweight or obese and the third was exposure to UV radiations from the sun and sunbeds.
Prof Mel Greaves, a cancer biologist at the Institute of Cancer Research, in London, said the study was an “endorsement” of the idea that many cancers were potentially preventable.
But he said the idea that obesity itself or eating too little fibre “causes” cancer was “somewhat simplistic” and still needed to be explored further.
“If obesity could be avoided, the impact on cancer rates is uncertain – but they would almost certainly decline significantly,” Prof Greaves said. “Given the currently high rates of obesity in young people, this represents (like cigarette smoking) a major societal challenge beyond the bounds of the medical arena.”