Obesity is more likely the cause in some types of cancer than smoking, according to the findings of a study released by a cancer research organization on Wednesday. According to Cancer Research UK, four common cancers – bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver – are more likely to have been caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco.
A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) provides new evidence that increased weight and obesity may result in increased smoking. The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), found that increased body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and waist circumference were associated both with a higher risk of being a smoker and with greater smoking intensity, measured by the number of cigarettes smoked per day. These results were consistent in both men and women.
Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, says a new WHO report. Fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20% increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products, according to the report titled “Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of No communicable Diseases (NCDs)”.
In a new report on rising childhood obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) has backed the British campaign for a “sugar tax” on sweet drinks. There is “strong evidence” that a sugar tax will work alongside two other measures to tackle childhood obesity: a ban on the sale of unhealthy food by schools, and a crackdown on the marketing of junk food to children, the report states.
Almost 30% of the world’s population, 2.1 billion people, is considered obese or overweight, researchers said, while rates among children have increased by a whopping 47% in the last 33 years.
World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan voiced deep concern about the increase worldwide of childhood obesity, with numbers climbing fastest in developing countries. “As the 2014 World Health Statistics report bluntly states, ‘Our children are getting fatter,’” she said during her opening speech to the Health Assembly on Monday in Geneva.
Obesity costs the United Kingdom National Health Service, NHS £5.1 billion per year, according to latest estimates. But National Audit Office (NAO) figures suggest obesity is not solely a burden on the NHS.
The mystery of a genetic flaw which greatly increases the risk of obesity in one in six people has been solved by an international group of scientists. A version of an obesity gene, called FTO, had been linked to a bigger belly, but the reason why was uncertain.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent insists his company is not responsible for the rise in US obesity despite New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent moves to limit the consumption of sugary drinks.
US experts have argued that sugars and sweeteners added to foods pose such a serious health risk that they should be controlled in the same way that alcohol and tobacco are, according to commentary in the journal Nature.