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Obesity linked to 11 cancers, 33 percent of Americans at risk


(NaturalNews) Obesity is now officially linked to 11 types of cancer as a new study adds stomach cancer to the list of illnesses caused by being overweight.

A report released by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) showed that carrying excessive amounts of body fat increased a person's risk of stomach cancer by 23 percent for each body mass index increase of five units.

The report looked at 89 different studies on stomach cancer from around the world detailing people's weight, physical activity levels and diet. A total of 17.5 million adults were assessed, including 77,000 with stomach cancers, in the first comprehensive review of its type since 2007.

The head of AICR's nutrition programs, Alice Bender, said: "We want Americans to know there are steps everyone can take for cancer prevention and better health, like eating more vegetables, beans, fruits, and other plant foods along with squeezing in a few more steps every day."

Stomach cancer is the 15th most common type of cancer in America and the fifth most common cancer globally. Just last year, more than 26,000 Americans were diagnosed with the disease, and less than a third of them are expected to survive for five years.

According to the AIRC, approximately one out of every seven cases of stomach cancer could be prevented by factors such as staying at a healthy weight, reducing alcohol consumption and giving up processed meats.

Stomach cancer joins other cancers such as thyroid cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer as being linked to obesity.

A third of Americans at risk

This means that more than a third of Americans are at risk of these cancers, as a third of Americans are currently obese and another third are overweight. These figures are expected to grow dramatically, with about half a million new diagnoses of cancer in America by the year 2030 according to NIC estimates. The NIC says that if each adult managed to reduce his or her BMI by just 1 percent, this could prevent around 100,000 new cancer cases by 2030.

Although the exact link between obesity and cancer is not entirely clear, it is believed to be related to the specific actions that fat cells carry out, such as boosting levels of insulin, estrogen and other hormones. One study determined that around 50,000 new cancer cases in women and 34,000 in men were caused by obesity. The risk is higher by as much as 40 percent for cancers such as esophageal adenocarcinoma and endometrial cancer.

Several ways to reduce your cancer risk

What can you do to reduce your risk of cancer? First of all, you need to reach and maintain a healthy weight. For many people, this can be achieved largely by giving up processed foods and sugary beverages. Working out at least three times per week for 30 minutes each time is recommended at a minimum to keep away chronic diseases, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. However, exercise alone is not enough. A study in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that people who are obese yet physically fit are still a lot more likely to die young than people who are at a normal weight and in poor shape.

Even if you are at a healthy weight, you need to avoid consuming processed meats and alcohol. Another food to look out for is any type of GMO food, which typically contain the carcinogen glyphosate. The book Food Forensics by Mike Adams is a great resource for discovering which foods contain potentially cancer-causing ingredients, and these topics are also the subject of the Natural Cancer Prevention Summit.

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