Body Weight and Cancer
Can cancer risk be reduced by intentional weight loss, given that excess body fatness increases the risk of cancers at various organ sites, including the bowel?
There is strong evidence that being physically active reduces the risk of various cancer types, and emerging evidence that sedentary behaviour increases the risk.
There is also clear evidence that the greatest change in diet and physical activity across a population can be achieved by combining a policy approach with individual actions.
Although excess body fatness increases the risk of cancers at various organ sites, including the colon and rectum, the risk may be reduced by intentional weight loss.
- Chapter 2.7. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and obesity: Established and emerging modifiable risk factors
- Chapter 5.5. Colorectal cancer: Decreasing disparities and promoting prevention are policy priorities
- Chapter 6.2. Improving diet and nutrition, physical activity, and body weight: From evidence to practice
- World Cancer Research Fund International, Continuous Update Project (2018). Third Expert Report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective. Report, resources, and toolkits, including the Interactive Cancer Risk Matrix.
- Cancer Australia (2013). Factsheets on Diet and Nutrition, Exercise, and Alcohol.
- Anderson AS, et al. (2021). Cancer survivorship, excess body fatness and weight-loss intervention—where are we in 2020?British Journal of Cancer 124(6): 1057-1065.
- Anderson AS, et al. (2021). Cancer prevention through weight control—where are we in 2020?British Journal of Cancer 124(6): 1049-1056.
- Sung H, et al. (2019). Emerging cancer trends among young adults in the USA: analysis of a population-based cancer registry.Lancet Public Health 4(3): e137-e147.
- Sung H, et al. (2019). Global patterns in excess body weight and the associated cancer burden.CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 69(2): 88-112.
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