Findings made by Cancer Research UK has shown obesity to be the leading cause of bowel; kidney; ovarian; and liver cancers as against smoking.


According to the charity organization, millions risk developing the disease on account of their weight and following that obese people outnumber smokers in a ratio of two to one.

In its sensitization campaign, Cancer Research UK stated that being overweight accounted for an estimated 22,800 annual cases of the diseases, unlike smoking which causes 54,300.

Out of 42,000 new cases of bowel cancer recorded annually, obesity accounted for 4,800 while 2,900 cases were found to have been related to smoking.


Of 12,900 new cases of kidney cancer, it said that being overweight accounted for 2,900 while smoking caused a much lower 1,600.

1,300 cases of liver cancer were also born out of obesity and 1,300 from smoking tobacco of a total of 5,900 annually.

Similarly, 490 ovarian cancer cases were found to have been caused by obesity as against smoking which caused 25 in a total of 7,500.


Following the publication of its findings, which was backed by billboard campaigns aimed at sensitizing the public on the need for weight control, the research institute has been widely criticized for “fat-shaming”.

It, however, hedged that its findings and campaigns are neither targeted at body-shaming obese citizens nor blaming them for being overweight.

“While we are very much aware of the health risks associated with smoking, less effort has been thrown behind tackling obesity, which is now a major cause of cancer,” it stated.

“The NHS can’t win the ‘battle against the bulge’ on its own. Families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we’re to avoid copying America’s damaging and costly example.”


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