500,000 cancer cases per year linked to BMI

If you’ve been reading the Reality Health Check for a while (or just look around at the number of unlimited buffets in your area), you’re well aware that we’re living in an obese nation.

But, alarmingly, we’re becoming an obese WORLD. And the effects are downright deadly.

I recently read a study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (and published in The Lancet) that noted nearly half a million new cancer cases per year, globally, can be attributed to high body mass index (BMI).

The most affected area? You’re sitting in it.

In North America, an estimated 111,000 new obesity-related cancer cases emerged in 2012 alone. That accounts for nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the total global BMI-related cancers.

Another interesting—and important—detail: Worldwide, the proportion of cancer related to obesity was significantly higher in women than in men.

“Women are disproportionately affected by obesity-related cancers,” said Dr. Melina Arnold, one of the lead authors of the study. She notes that being at a healthy weight could have prevented 10 percent of cases of postmenopausal breast cancer, the most common cancer in women worldwide.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of this study is that the researchers expect the number of obesity-related cancers to rise along with economic development. Why? Because more economic development means more overly processed, sugary food eaten by more people.

Steer clear of this garbage and focus on whole, natural, healthy foods that will help keep your weight—and the rest of you—healthy.

In other words, choose your foods as if your life depends on it. Because it does.


“Global burden of cancer attributable to high body-mass index in 2012: a population-based study,” The Lancet Oncology, epub ahead of print 11/26/14