While being overweight or obese has been linked to an increased risk of more than a dozen types of cancer, (www.nejm.org) the relationship between obesity at a young age and prospect of having cancer later in life is found in the study.
Results of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis (onlinelibrary.wiley.com) of observational studies published online in Obesity Reviews have revealed the degree to which being obese increases the risks of several of these cancers.
The results have shown evidence that individuals of 30 years or younger who are obese are at increased risk of developing various types of cancer later in life. The study review also found that if a person's body mass index (BMI) increases, so does the cancer risk.
Prevention of overweight and obesity in children, adolescents and young adults should therefore be emphasized to reverse the obesity epidemic and thereby avoid further increases in the burden of cancer attributed to excess body fatness.
Increasing awareness and knowledge about obesity and cancer are important motivational tools which physicians shall use to encourage patients to lose weight at early age or as soon they find themselves obese.