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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS - 5/2/09

World campaign against obesity

Thursday February 5th, 2009

Obesity was the theme of World Cancer Day yesterday - as new evidence showed public ignorance of the link between weight and cancer is worldwide.

Cancer campaigners plan to back global efforts to tackle childhood obesity - seeing it as a threat to future health.

According to the International Union against Cancer (UICC), up to four million new cases of cancer around the world are caused by obesity - and 22 million children under the age of five are overweight.

A survey conducted for World Cancer Day showed about 40 per cent of people admitting ignorance of any link between weight and cancer.

The survey was conducted in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand and western Asia.

UICC president Professor David Hill said there was little evidence yet linking childhood obesity directly to cancer as the evidence came from adult studies. But there was a risk that overweight children would become obese adults.

He said: "Overweight and obesity are part of the causal chain for many cancers.

"This is well established in science but not adequately understood in the community.

"In fact, current lack of public understanding of the link between body weight and cancer probably parallels our attitudes to smoking and cancer in the late 1950s."

Tags: Asia | Australia | Cancer | North America | Nutrition & Healthy Eating | World Health

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