Report Links Rise in Cancer to Inactivity, Obesity

March 29, 2012

USA Today

The decline in deaths from all cancers combined continued in the USA from 2004-2008, but a major government report highlights a worrisome rise in cases linked to obesity and inactivity.

Although the overall rate of new cancer cases is declining, the report confirms research showing that excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for one-quarter to one-third of common cancers in the USA. About one-third of adults — almost 78 million — are obese, roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight.

"I don't think Americans understand the association between cancer and obesity," says physician Marcus Plescia, director of the division of cancer prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We do know people are afraid of cancer. They know about the links (from obesity) to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, but many don't know about this. They need to know." Read More