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Weight gain "raises cancer risk"

Putting on weight drastically raises the risk of developing several types of cancer, new research claims.

A study published in The Lancet also found the level of risk from an increased Body Mass Index (BMI) can vary between sexes and ethnic groups.

Dr Andrew Renehan from the University of Manchester and Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust looked at 282,137 cases to determine the chances of suffering cancer among those with a 5kg per square metre increase in BMI.

In men, this raised the risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma by 52%, colon and kidney cancers by 24%, and thyroid cancer by 33%.

In women, it meant the risk of both endometrial cancer and cancer of the gallbladder rose by 59%, oesophageal adenocarcinoma by 51%, and kidney cancer by 34%.

Commenting on the study, epidemiologists Dr Susanna Larson and Professor Alicja Wolk said: "The number of deaths per year attributable to obesity is about 30,000 in the UK, and 10 times that in the USA, where obesity has been estimated to have overtaken smoking in 2005 as the main preventable cause of illness and premature death.

"Efforts will be needed to increase education on diet and physical activity."

The Lancet

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