By Oliver Thompson
According to new research recently conducted by Cancer Research UK, obesity now causes more cases of common cancers than smoking.
Smoking is still the UK’s biggest preventable cause of cancer and carries a much higher risk of the disease than obesity.
The charity’s analysis showed that excess weight causes around 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year.
Additionally, it causes 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer, 460 more cases of ovarian cancer and 180 cases of liver cancer.
Nationwide data shows that one in three adults in the UK is medically considered obese, with another third listed as overweight.
According to an analysis by ExaminerLive, there are 88,000 adults who are obese in Kirklees (with a Body Mass Index of 30 or more) compared with 46,000 smokers.
Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, commented: “Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devasting record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent Government intervention to end the epidemic.
“Scientists have so far identified that obesity causes 13 types of cancer but the mechanisms aren’t fully understood, so further research is needed to find out more about the ways extra body fat can lead to cancer.”
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, further explained: “There isn’t a silver bullet to reduce obesity, but the huge fall in smoking over the years – partly thanks to advertising and environmental bans – shows that Government-led change works.
“It was needed to tackle sky-high smoking rates, and now the same is true for obesity.
The charity aims to press the UK Government to act on its ambition to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030 and introduce a 9 pm watershed for junk food adverts on TV and online.