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Most adults unaware of link between obesity and cancer

Most people do not understand the link between obesity and cancer, and few are offered advice about their weight when seeing a healthcare professional, a study shows
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Most people do not understand the link between obesity and cancer, a study shows.

The study, by Cancer Research UK, showed only one in four adults or 25.4% were aware of the link. Obesity is associated with 13 types of cancer, including those of the breast, kidney, bowl and womb.

Researchers interviewed 3,293 adults. The studys authors examined the impact of socio-economic background and found those from lower income groups were more likely to be overweight or obese but less likely to be aware of the links between excess weight and cancer.

Only 17.4% of those who had seen a healthcare professional in the past 12 months had been offered advice about their weight, despite 48% being overweight or obese.

Co-author Jyotsna Vohra said: We need to make the link very clear. This may go some way towards tackling the obesity

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Most people do not understand the link between obesity and cancer, a study shows.

obesity-cancer_web_iStock
Picture: iStock

The study, by Cancer Research UK, showed only one in four adults or 25.4% were aware of the link. Obesity is associated with 13 types of cancer, including those of the breast, kidney, bowl and womb.

Researchers interviewed 3,293 adults. The study’s authors examined the impact of socio-economic background and found those from lower income groups were more likely to be overweight or obese but less likely to be aware of the links between excess weight and cancer.

Only 17.4% of those who had seen a healthcare professional in the past 12 months had been offered advice about their weight, despite 48% being overweight or obese.

Co-author Jyotsna Vohra said: ‘We need to make the link very clear. This may go some way towards tackling the obesity epidemic, which all too often begins in childhood.’


Hooper L et al (2017) Public awareness and healthcare professional advice for obesity as a risk factor for cancer in the UK: a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdx145

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