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Study Confirms Link Between Obesity and Cancer

Apr 21, 2016 08:13 AM EDT

American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) released a report today affirming that processed meats, alcohol and obesity are linked to cancer.

"This report is a real wake-up call. Obesity is now linked to eleven types of cancer and 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," lead author Alice Bender of AICR said in a press release.

Looking closely at the links between lifestyle, diet and cancer, the group focused on analyzing 89 studies covering 17 million adults and 77,000 stomach cancer cases. Aside from showing that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day and eating 1.8 ounces of processed foods per day leads to stomach cancer, the report, titled "Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Stomach Cancer," also showed evidence linking cancers of the upper stomach (cardia) to being overweight or obese.

"The report shows a 23 percent increased risk of cardia stomach cancer per every five-unit-increase in Body Mass Index," it said.

Moreover, Counselheal notes that another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found out that a person's elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) could lead to increased risks of death among late adolescents, originating from cardiovascular causes.

Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the third biggest cancer killer in the world. The researchers explicated that Americans could specifically prevent 4,000 new stomach cancer cases each year if everyone steers clear of the three risk factors mentioned in their report.

The AICR has also linked obesity and drinking to liver cancer. And other studies link obesity to a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer and endometrial cancer, NBC News notes.

CUP Panel lead expert Prof. Michael Leitzmann of the University of Regensburg believes that the evidence in the report will help prevent cases of stomach cancer each year as well as other diseases related to lifestyle and obesity.

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