Obesity linked to 10 common cancer typesA new study, published in The Lancet, sustains the theory that obesity is linked to 10 common cancer types, including womb, gallbladder, cervical and thyroid cancer.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK conducted a study that would link the body mass index (BMI) to the most common types of cancer. After collecting data from UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink, they identified 5.24 million people who had been monitored for over seven years, were 16, or older, and were cancer free at the beginning of the monitoring. They took their data and calculated their BMI and their risk of developing the 22 most diagnosed forms of cancer in the UK.

Of the 5.24 million people studied, 166,955 have developed a form of cancer in the past 7 years and, of those 22 types of cancer taken into account, the researchers found a particularly strong link between BMI and 10 of them. More specifically, every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI is linked to a higher risk of the following cancers:


• Womb (62% increased risk)

• Gallbladder (31% increased risk)

• Kidney (25% increased risk)

• Cervical (10% increased risk)

• Thyroid (9% increased risk)

• Leukemia (9% increased risk)

• Liver (19% increased risk)

• Colon (10% increased risk)

• Ovarian (9% increased risk)

• Breast (5% increased risk)


Commenting on the results, the leader of the research team, Dr. Krishnan Bhaskaran said that the findings are of great impact not only in the UK, but worldwide, as obesity is spreading, dragging with it a series of illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease. “Our results show that if these trends continue, we can also expect to see substantially more cancers as a result.”