Obesity is among the principal risk-factors for cancer, and we’re in an obesity epidemic. Take a look at this link and you’ll get a better picture.

This animated map shows the epidemic of obesity in the US, state by state, from 1985 to 2007. In sky-blue states, less than 10% of the population is obese. In the red states, more than 30% of people are obese – and we’re talking here about real morbid obesity, not just simple overweight. (1).

This is particularly disturbing when we reflect that cancer develops only several years after a person becomes obese. It gives us an idea of what’s in store for us, and for our society, if we don’t act to stop this phenomenon.

How did this happen? Since World War II, we, in Western societies, have completely changed our nutritional habits. There has been massive new use of sugar and white flour, the introduction of artificial and dangerous trans vegetable fats, and the production of animal feed based on soy and maize corn that are far too rich in omega-6 fatty acids and lack the omega-3 fatty acids of grass.. (2)

All these factors contribute both to the epidemic of obesity today, and to the epidemic of cancer. In fact, obesity is one of the principal risk-factors for developing cancer. We know now that the link between cancer and obesity stems above all from excessive consumption of sugar (3), and probably also omega-6 fatty acids (4): sugar stimulates the secretion of insulin, which in turn stimulates the inflammation and the growth of cells. The same effect occurs when omega-6 fatty acids are not counterbalanced by sufficient consumption of omega-3s.

REFERENCES

1. U.S. Obesity Trends 1985–2007. Center for Disease Control, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2008. (Accessed Feb 17, 2009, at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/trend/maps/.) 2. Weill P. Tous Gros Demain ? Paris, France: Plon; 2007. 3. Gunter MJ, al e. Insulin, Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I, and Risk of Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2009;101:48-60. 4. Gago-Dominguez M, Yuan J, Sun C, Lee H, Yu M. Opposing effects of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids on mammary carcinogenesis: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. British Journal of Cancer 2003;89(9):1686-92.