Being overweight and obese have been closely linked to 10 common cancers, according to the biggest study ever done on the relationship between cancer and body weight.
The study, published in the Lancet Medical Journal, shows a higher body mass index was tied to cancers of the liver, colon, ovaries, breast, gallbladder, uterus, kidney, and other forms of cancer.
The findings were the most extensive ever on the link between cancer and being overweight. It serves as another warning that eating a balanced diet, exercising, and keeping the right body weight will help you stay healthy.
Experts say there are many causes for cancer, including genetic and environmental influences.
But the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Farr Institute of Health Informatics, factored in other causes in order to come up with a good estimate of the actual number of preventable cancers if people kept to a normal weight.
"If we could magically remove excess weight from the population, we would have 12,000 fewer cancers," said study leader Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran, National Institute for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSHTM.
"The number of people who are overweight or obese is rapidly increasing both in the U.K. and worldwide. It is well recognized that this is likely to cause more diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our results show that if these trends continue, we can also expect to see substantially more cancers as a result," he added.