Obesity is epidemic in America today with around two thirds of the population tipping scales beyond a healthy weight. Much of the public knows that excess weight can lead to heart disease. Less known is the clear tie between obesity and cancer that medical researchers have discovered over the last decade.

At first, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society, a link was made between uterine cancer and obesity. Then breast cancer was associated with being overweight and the list now includes aggressive prostate cancer, colon, esophagus, kidney, and pancreas cancer,

Researchers are certainly certain that being large can encourage lymphoma, ovarian, cervical, liver cancer and leukemia. Dr. Alpha Patel of the American Cancer Society told the magazine “Nutrition Action” that there is a linear relationship between weight gain and risk of cancer. The more weight one gains, the higher the risk of getting the deadly disease.

Although researchers are not certain of the mechanism that links excess weight and cancer, they know that excess fat cells cause the body to produce more cancer promoting growth factors.

Food Choices, Weight and Cancer

Obviously eating high fat foods can cause a person to gain weight. Cheese, meats of all sorts and sugars lead to weight gain especially in people who are inactive or who do not burn up all the calories they consume. For example a single fast food hamburger can contain up to 1000 calories, easily enough for a whole day of activity yet most people eat other foods with a beef patty and have two other meals as well.

Food choices that lead to obesity can also lead to cancer growth. Research shows that casein, a protein found in milk and cheese, Promotes cancer growth. While not carcinogenic, casein encourages cancer so people who eat more than small amounts of milk products like cheese significantly raise their cancer risk.

Last August, researchers at UCLA announced that they had discovered that fructose, a common sweetener used in processed foods like colas helps cancer cells thrive and divide. Dr. Anthony Heaney told Reuters News Service that “cancer cells readily metabolize fructose” and proliferate.

High fructose corn syrup is a product invented by the corn industry to help sell its huge surpluses of hybridized corn to the processed food industry. The chemical is extremely common in mainstream processed foods and has been implicated in diabetes and weight gain. Learning that the chemical also causes cancer cells to divide and multiply should inspire all Americans to read food labels and avoid foods with this substance in them.

Obesity is now the main cause of cancer in the US since smoking rates have dropped dramatically. This condition is a main driver in the high health care costs now afflicting both the public and private sectors in the United States.

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