Report: Obesity-Linked Cancers Increase

Obesity does not cause cancer.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Several cancers linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle rose every year from 1999 through 2008, even as improved screening and a sharp decline in the number of smokers have helped push down the rate of new cancer diagnoses overall across the U.S., according to a report released Wednesday.

Rates of cancers of the kidney, pancreas, lower esophagus and uterus increased annually through 2008, the latest data available, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. Rates of breast cancer in women at least 50 years old declined 1.3% annually from 1999 to 2005 but rose slightly between 2005 and 2008.

The data add to a growing body of evidence that obesity raises the risk of these and some other cancers. As many as one-third of common cancers in industrialized nations are linked to excess weight and lack of physical activity, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Obesity rates leveled off in the U.S. a decade ago, but an estimated 68.8% of adults remain overweight or obese, according to the CDC, and cancers can take years to develop…

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2 responses to “Report: Obesity-Linked Cancers Increase

  1. “a growing body of evidence”

    Is that like a consensus?

  2. Correlation does not mean causation. There are common situations that correlate quite well, but it could well be that refined carbohydrates and lack of anti-oxidants in foods consumed are the real factor. Obesity is caused by people eating too much, often likely failing to have a balanced diet featuring a wide variety of healthful foods.

    All this study suggests (based on this correlation) is that there are many things to study about the unhealthy behaviors that lead to obesity.

    Correlation can also suggest that the genetic disposition to gain excess weight can lead to various diseases. It is already well understood that “native Americans” have a genetic disposition that leads to (1) obesity and (2) type 2 diabetes. Indigenous native Mexicans also have this same disposition. The genes that helped indigenous north Americans to survive serious food shortages hundreds/thousands of years ago had created various statistical correlations in today’s population.

    So additional health correlations among the obese are no surprise. But the correlations may actually be revealing other causes that may only affect a sub-population of “all” obese individuals. So cancer rates of 1 or 2 percent in a general subpopulation of “obese” may actually suggest a much higher percentage share of a specific sub-sub-population with other specific factors that set that group apart from the wider population.

    Further study is advised, before any conclusions are suggested.

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