Obesity is more than carrying excess weight and fat. It is a medical condition that can lead to different cardiovascular disorders as it increases blood pressure and bad cholesterol, building plaques on the walls of the arteries. Moreover, it worsens blood sugar, which may then lead to insulin resistance. If this isn't dealt with immediately, the condition can become type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown how obesity causes metabolic syndromes.
Obesity is also correlated with cancer, but what most experts believe is that it only exacerbates the risk, not immediately cause it. A new study, however, seems to lean on the latter.
The study, which you can now read in the latest issue of The Lancet Oncology, looks into the BMI of thousands of people across more than 150 countries. These data were posted in 2002 while the researchers checked out the cancer rates 10 years after. (In case you're wondering why they're using BMI [body mass index], it's a reliable measurement of your level of obesity. The ideal BMI depends on your height, weight, and gender.)
The researchers initially assumed that appearance of certain cancers will happen within the next 10 years as obesity increases the risks. However, more than 3% of the cancer cases by 2012 may be directly related to obesity, which means it might have caused it. This is because hundreds of these people who became subjects of the study developed cancer even one year after they have become obese, via their recorded BMI. The problem is more prominent among women especially those who were in North America.
The researchers also believed that if the BMI of these people didn't go up since 1982, there would be more than 115,000 less cancer cases by 2012.
As to why this happened, the researchers believe that the obesity alters the way the body's hormones work, and because of these hormone changes, tumors that may lead to cancer can develop.