Increase in obesity linked to throat cancer

April 8, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Increase in obesity linked to throat cancer

Recent research has pointed to obesity as a factor in the development of several types of cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer. Now, researchers from Cleveland, Ohio suggest that throat cancer, also known as esophageal cancer, may also but related to obesity.

In this study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, looked at throat cancer rates from the National Cancer Institute and compared them to food intake patterns over several decades.

The results showed an association between carbohydrate intake, obesity and incidence of throat cancer. High consumption of carbohydrates was strongly related to higher rates of throat cancer.

The trend towards higher intakes of refined carbohydrates - those with more sugar and starch and lower nutritional value that wholegrain carbohydrates - is thought to contribute to obesity. Refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall quickly, triggering hunger and overeating.

Throat cancer is linked to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus during after eating. Obesity and a high carbohydrate intake are also risk factors for GERD, which affects up to 40 percent of Canadians over 50.

The authors of this study these findings stress the importance of limiting intake of refined carbohydrates, however more research is needed to determine how carbohydrates and obesity affect the individual's risk of throat cancer.

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.