Health experts have recommended ten lifestyle changes, including quitting drinking and limiting the consumption of processed meats, to prevent 12 different cancers linked to obesity in a major new report.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) assessed decades-worth of evidence and found an association between obesity and cancers of the stomach, mouth and throat, liver, ovary, bowel, gallbladder, kidney, esophagus, pancreas, and womb.
Breast cancer after the menopause and advanced prostate cancer were also linked to obesity.
The World Cancer Research Fund has warned that obesity increases the risk of developing cancer.
The "Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective" report presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna included an updated version of the organization's cancer prevention recommendations, which it dubbed its “blueprint to beat cancer.”
It was accompanied by the Cancer Health Check tool, which offers personalized recommendations for how to prevent the disease.
The recommendations included: being a healthy weight; exercising; eating grains, veg, fruit and beans; avoiding high calorie foods; limiting the consumption of red and processed meat and sugar-sweetened drinks, as well as cutting out alcohol.
The WCRF also warned against relying on dietary supplements and emphasized the benefits of breastfeeding babies.
Regularly drinking sugar-sweetened drinks was linked to cancer because it can cause weight gain and obesity, the experts said.
But being physically active was found to directly protect against cancers of the bowel, womb and, post-menopause, breast, as well as cutting the wider risk of developing other cancers.
Alcohol, meanwhile, was “strongly” associated with cancer of the breast, liver, mouth, bowel, throat, esophagus, and stomach.
And as more countries adopt Western lifestyles with sedentary living and obesity-causing foods, cancer rates are expected to spike 58% by 2035, causing 24 million global deaths per year, the researchers said.
However, the onus to prevent cancer does not solely lie with individuals, they stressed, urging governments to prioritize cancer prevention policies.
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