Being overweight or obese is one of the leading causes of cancer in the UK, according to researchers.
Cancer Research UK identified that obesity was the second leading cause of preventable cancer, accounting for 6.3% of all cancer cases, an increase from 5.5% in 2011.
Obesity is linked with type 2 diabetes risk, but research continues to show how eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help not just to lose weight but also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and help those with existing diabetes put it into remission.
Reducing obesity rates across is the UK is a priority of the government and healthcare professionals. As of last year the UK was the most obese country in western Europe.
Professor Mel Greaves, a cancer biologist at the Institute of Cancer Research, in London, said: “If obesity could be avoided, the impact on cancer rates is uncertain – but they would almost certainly decline significantly.
“Given the currently high rates of obesity in young people, this represents (like cigarette smoking) a major societal challenge beyond the bounds of the medical arena.”
Benedict Jephcote, Editor of, added: “The figures show that obesity is strongly with cancer, however to say obesity is the cause is to ignore the elephant in the room. Highly processed foods and lifestyles based around a high consumption of sugar and carbohydrate, which breaks down directly into sugars, are the main drivers behind both obesity and cancer.
“What the researchers are getting at is that if obesity can be reduced, by tackling the factors that lead to obesity, cancer rates could be reduced too.”
Cancer Research added that more action was needed to tackle the “health threat” of obesity, which is generally categorised as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30.
This year the government will implement a sugar tax on sugary drinks manufacturers to drive down the amount of sugar being consumed, while earlier this year celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall called for the government to commission a vegetable advertising fund.
Author’s note: On our award-winning Low Carb Program people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes sustainably lose an average of 7kg (15lbs) one year after completing the program, as well as improving their blood sugar levels and HbA1c.

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