In addition to the fact that being overweight or obese as an
adult has been strongly associated with 10 types of cancer
( 15, 54-56) (see Figure 10, p. 41), recent data suggest that
increased body weight during childhood and adolescence
may increase risk for colorectal cancer later in life ( 57,
58). Larger studies are needed to confirm this finding and
investigate whether early-life excess body weight increases
risk of other types of cancer.
Given that being overweight or obese and being inactive have
such an immense impact on cancer risk, as well as risk for
other diseases, it is extremely concerning that in the United
States more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese
( 59), 17 percent of youth are obese ( 60), and nearly half of all
adults do not meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic
physical activity ( 61). Unfortunately, the United States is
not alone; the latest estimates show that 20 percent or more
of the population age 15 or older of nine other countries
designated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) is obese ( 62) (see Figure 11, p. 42).
Moreover, sedentary behaviors, such as prolonged sitting at a
computer, may increase risk for certain types of cancer ( 63),
although additional research is needed to more clearly define
the contribution of sedentary behavior to risk for cancer.
Thus, concerted efforts by individuals, families,
communities, schools, workplaces, institutions, health
care professionals, media, industry, government, and
multinational bodies are required to develop and implement
effective strategies to promote the maintenance of a healthy
weight and the participation in regular physical activity.
Although such interventions will enhance overall health,
more research is required to better understand the effect of
weight loss at various stages of life on cancer risk.
In addition to preventing the development of some cancers,
maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical
activity, and eating a balanced diet may also improve
outcomes for individuals diagnosed with certain types of
cancer, in particular breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers;
reduce risk of disease recurrence and metastasis; and
increase the chance of long-term survival ( 65-68).
Protect Skin From
Most cases of the three main types of skin cancer—basal cell
carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma—are
from 2007 to 2010,
of u.s. adults did not meet u.s.
for daily fruit intake and
did not meet the recommendations
for daily vegetable intake ( 53).
new cases of adult cancer
worldwide in 2012 were due to being
overweight or obese ( 52).
[weight in kilograms divided
by height in meters squared]:
bmi less than 18. 5 kg/m2
bmi between 18. 5 and 25 kg/m2
bmi between 25 and 29. 9 kg/m2
bmi 30 kg/m2 or greater