A new report says there is an observable increase in cancer occurrence caused by the prevalence of excess body weight worldwide.

The report, co-authored by the American Cancer Society, said excessive weight has been on the rise globally since the 1970s.

According to the report, almost two billion adults and 340 million children around the globe had excess body weight in 2016.

It blamed the increase in weight on the spread of the “western lifestyle,” consisting of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods alongside reduced physical activity levels.

It also said national wealth is the most apparent systematic driver of population obesity.

“The economic transition to a wealthier economy brings with it an environment that precipitates obesity. Each $10,000 increase in average national income is associated with a 0.4 increase in body mass index among adults,” it read.

“The worldwide economic impact of illness related to excess body weight is estimated at $2.0 trillion. In 2012, excess body weight accounted for approximately 544,300 cancers, 3.9% of all cancers worldwide.

“The rapid increase in both the prevalence of excess body weight and the associated cancer burden highlights the need for a rejuvenated focus on identifying, implementing, and evaluating interventions to prevent and control excess body weight.”

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) targets for 2025 includes eliminating trans-fats through the development of legislation to ban their use in the food chain, reducing sugar consumption through effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages and implementing subsidies to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, are needed to curb excessive weight in global population.

The report was published on CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.



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