Britain is listed as having the fourth highest rates of obesity-related cancer among men in the world, according to new research.
The study, conducted by The Lancet, also revealed that British women are even more susceptible than men to develop cancer as a result of obesity, but compared more favourably to other nations.
The research, which compared 176 countries, found that among men, only the Czech Republic, Jorda, and Argentina had higher levels of obesity-linked cancer.
Each year in Britai, 4.4 per cent of cancer cases in men are associated with obesity. In total, this accounts for 7,217 cases annually.
The study demonstrates the increasing problems caused by obesity. In addition to cancer, the condition causes type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular (heart) disease.
Type 2 diabetes is often, but not always, caused by an unhealthy lifestyle: factors such as being overweight, not getting enough exercise, and eating an unhealthy diet can affect the disease’s development. Around 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are, at the time of diagnosis, obese or overweight.
If not properly managed, type 2 diabetes can cause complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure, and blindness. It causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer put together.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “Putting it simply, these figures show that we are killing ourselves. Despite warnings for years that obesity causes a whole host of health problems […] the public is paying no attention.”
However, there are a number of reasons that individuals can be overweight: many of them are based on social factors that are largely beyond the control of the individual. Poor education can be a factor; as can the fact that many healthy foods (including vegetables) are expensive (while nutritionally poor white bread is very cheap). In addition, genetics and other medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, can all play a part.

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