One of the many detrimental consequences of carrying excess fat tissue is an increased risk of cancer. Visceral fat generates chronic inflammation in addition to other forms of metabolic disruption, and that inflammation speeds the development and progression of all of the common age-related conditions, cancer included. The epidemiological research noted here is one way of looking at the numbers behind this relationship. When considering the number of people who are harming their health by being overweight, it is interesting to note the fact that progress in medical technology is still keeping pace to reduce mortality in later life, even while using poor strategies that do not address the root causes of either aging or fat-associated metabolic dysfunction, but instead try to compensate for or tinker with the later disease state.
Being overweight or obese are associated with increased risk of 13 types of cancer. These cancers account for about 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2014, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Vital Signs report analyzed 2014 cancer incidence data from the United States Cancer Statistics report and reviewed data from 2005 to 2014 to determine trends. About 630,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with a cancer associated with being overweight or obese in 2014. About 2 in 3 occurred in adults 50- to 74-years-old. Cancers associated with being overweight or obese, excluding colorectal cancer, increased 7 percent between 2005-2014. Colorectal cancer decreased 23 percent, due in large part to screening. Cancers not associated with being overweight or obese decreased 13 percent.
In 2013-2014, about 2 out of 3 adults in the U.S. were overweight (defined as having a body mass index of 25-29.9 kg/m2) or had obesity (having a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 and higher). The body mass index (BMI) is a person's weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of the person's height (in meters). Many people are not aware that being overweight and having obesity are associated with some cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has identified 13 cancers associated with being overweight or obese: meningioma, multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the thyroid, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, colon and rectum (colorectal).