Statistically speaking, up to 500,000 of all the new cancer cases that are diagnosed each year can be attributed to a high BMI, or body mass index. The statistics were released by a team of researchers, and were published in the reputable Lancet Oncology. The same research, which is far newer and more in-depth, has also revealed the fact that up to 3.6% of all the global cancer burden is directly linked to a high body mass index. In other words, overweight people are at higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than other people. At the same time, it is also important to mention the fact that cancer that occurs due to obesity is considerably more common in the developed countries, as opposed to the less developed countries.
Dr. Isabelle Soerjomataram, who is the co-lead author of the analysis, has stated that the highest number of cancer cases that are directly linked to obesity can be seen in the richer countries – even so, the same problem can be noticed all over the world in the developing countries. At the time being, North America is one of the most affected areas, where more than 100,000 new cases of cancer related to obesity have occurred in 2012 alone. Otherwise stated, almost a quarter of all the BM-related cancers that were recorded that year happened in North America.
Europe, however, is very close to the problem that North America faces – as a matter of fact, Eastern Europe alone can account for up to 65,000 cases of all the European cancer cases, which is approximately 6.5% of all the BMI-related cancers recoded yearly. In addition to this, it must also be mentioned that the number of cancers that occur due to obesity in Asian countries is also very large – nonetheless, given the significant population size, that translates into a considerable absolute number of cases. Having said that, in 2012, approximately 50,000 cancer cases were recorded in China that were directly related to obesity, but being the most populous country on earth, that only accounted for approximately 1.6% of all the new cancer cases that were recorded in China that particular year.
The same principle can apply to certain countries in Africa, where only 1.5% of all the new cancer cases that have occurred on the continent were truly related to obesity, although the entire number of cancers identified in 2012 on the continent was of little over 7,000.