Obesity and overweight increase the risk of occurrence of 13 cancers

Diet contributes to the increased risk of certain cancers, particularly in the event of obesity and overweight. The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviews studies dealing with nutrition, obesity and cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates 1.7 million new cases of cancer in the USA in 2018. A third of cancers are associated with modifiable risk factors, in other words, dietary and lifestyle factors. It is therefore possible to act, but what do the studies currently show?

Obesity and overweight associated with 13 types of cancer

According to a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, excess body fat increases the risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. These are cancers:

  • breast in postmenopausal women
  • ovaries
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • kidneys
  • colon
  • pancreas
  • stomach
  • esophagus
  • endometrium
  • thyroid
  • due to multiple myeloma
  • due to meningioma

Obesity is also associated with the progression of prostate cancer and metabolic alterations. Studies highlight the positive impact of dietary measures on these alterations, such as caloric restriction, the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, etc.

The example of the health benefits of a vegetable patch in the garden

High caloric food intake induces weight gain and increases the risk of developing obesity-related cancers.

An energy-dense diet is a modifiable factor that can have interesting effects. This is particularly what emerges from a study conducted on the basis of a gardening activity with people over 65 who have survived cancer.

The benefits of the “home garden” are:

  • An increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, at the rate of one portion per day.
  • A reduction in abdominal fat mass.
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Dietetics therefore has its place in the prevention but also in the management of cancer.


Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:,-obesity,-and-cancer-nutrition-experts-explore-the-evidence


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