Obesity to cause more cancer cases than smoking


A new study by Cancer Research UK has shown that obesity will become the biggest preventable cause of cancer among women

24th September 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer among women.

A study by Cancer Research UK has shown that excess weight will cause more cases of cancer than smoking within 25 years.

The new projections calculate that in just 17 years (2035) 10% of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be caused by smoking and 9% (around 23,000 cases) by excess weight.

The charity has stressed the Scottish Government must take bold action and introduce new laws to restrict harmful supermarket special offers on junk food. A separate survey found that the move has the backing of two thirds (62%) of Scotland’s public.

Cancer Research UK is also launching a campaign today (Monday) to raise awareness of the link between obesity and cancer.

Being overweight or obese is linked to around 2,200 (7%) cases of cancer a year in Scotland.

Overall in Scotland, obesity rates in adults are around a fifth (19%) higher now than in the early 2000s. However, smoking rates among adults have dropped by a quarter (26%) over the same period of time.

Cancer Research UK prevention expert Professor Linda Bauld said new laws were needed to make food shopping a healthier experience for families.

Prof Bauld, who is based at the University of Stirling, said: “While the results of this study focus on the UK picture, unfortunately the forecast is expected to be similar for women in Scotland.

“It’s positive the Scottish Government has signalled its intention take action on obesity and will consult on plans to restrict an array of supermarket price promotions.

“Junk food multibuy offers encourage us to bulk buy and eat large quantities of unhealthy food, the consequences of which have become all too obvious in the nation’s growing waistlines.

“The public wants action and the introduction of laws to curb bargain buys for food and drink high in fat and sugar would be an effective way of helping people make healthier choices.”