Obesity doubles gall bladder cancer risk in women

February 19, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Obesity doubles gall bladder cancer risk in women

Obesity affects men and women differently in terms of cancer risk, according to a study published in the Lancet medical journal.

In this study, 282,000 men and women from 144 separate trials were analyzed to determine the affect of gender and obesity on the likelihood of developing some cancers. The researchers looked at what happened when people's body mass index (BMI) increased from the normal range to overweight or from overweight to obese.

(BMI is a ratio of height to weight. A BMI of 18 to 25 is normal; over 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is obese.)

For men, becoming overweight or obese increased the risk of thyroid cancer rose by a third. Risk of colon and kidney cancers went up by 24 percent with the increased weight.

In women who went from having a normal BMI to being overweight, the risk of gall bladder cancer rose 59 percent and kidney cancer went up 34 percent.

Scientists suspect differences in hormonal changes in men and women in response to the amount of fat cells. This may explain why men and women have different increases in cancer risk when they gain weight.

These findings come after a major report from the World Research Cancer Fund showed that excess body fat was likely to cause some cancers.

Obesity is a major issue worldwide and also raises the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart problems. The World Health Organization classifies around 400 million people as obese. Click here to see if your BMI is in the normal range.  

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 39% of Canadian women and 44% of Canadian men will develop cancer during their lifetimes.

Obesity and cancer risk can be managed with nutrition strategies. For more information on how nutrition consulting can decrease your disease risk, check out how you can work one-on-one with Leslie Beck, RD.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.