Obesity in adolescence have been linked to bowel cancer risk

Obesity in adolescence have been linked to

bowel cancer risk.

According to a study,

being overweight in

adolescence can lead to a

greater risk of bowel cancer

later in life.

The research was conducted using nearly

240,000 Swedish men whom are followed for 35


The analysis, which was published in the

journal Gut, revealed that teenagers that are overweight later in life

have twice

the risk of bowel cancer and this is even more riskier in

obese teens.

Read the full report as published by BBC health after the cut...

The World Cancer Research Fund

said the link between obesity

and cancer was "strong".

Bowel cancer is the third most

common cancer in the world,

with nearly 1.4 million new cases

each year.

Processed red meat and

abdominal fat have been linked

to the disease.

'Accelerated growth'

The participants in the study

were aged between 16 and 20 at

the start.

The overwhelming majority were

a normal weight, but 6.5% were

overweight and 1% were obese.

There were 855 cases of

colorectal cancer in the study.

However, the results showed not

all weights were affected equally.

Those who were obese were

2.38 times more likely to have

developed a bowel tumour.

The study, led by Orebro

University Hospital in Sweden

and Harvard University, said:

"Late adolescence marks the

transition from childhood to

adulthood and is a period of

accelerated growth, especially

among men, thus this period

may represent a critical window."

"It is important that we

understand the role of exposures

in childhood and adolescence in

the development of colorectal


"In fact, the strong association

observed between adolescent

obesity and early-to-mid-life

colorectal cancer, coupled with

the increasing prevalence of

adolescent obesity, may shed

light on the increase in colorectal

cancer incidence among young

adults," he added.

'Strong evidence'

Rachel Thompson, from the

World Cancer Research Fund, said

the evidence suggested that

obesity was a risk factor for

bowel cancer.

"This finding is interesting

because it gives an indication

that bowel cancer risk might be

affected by our lifestyle habits

throughout the life course," she


"In some ways, research into the

relationship between factors like

obesity and cancer risk is still in

its infancy.

"It will be interesting to see if

further research emerges in the

future to back up the apparent

relationship between body

fatness in youth and later-life

cancer risk."


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