Obesity and Cancer


What is obesity?

How common is overweight or obesity?

What is known about the relationship between obesity and cancer?

How might obesity increase the risk of cancer?

How many cancer cases may be due to obesity?

Does avoiding weight gain or losing weight decrease the risk of cancer?

How does obesity affect cancer survivorship?

What research is being done on obesity and cancer?

What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition in which a person has an unhealthy amount and/or distribution of body fat.
To measure obesity, researchers commonly use a scale known as the body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight (in kilograms) by their height (in meters) squared (commonly expressed as kg/m2). BMI provides a more accurate measure of obesity than weight alone, and for most people it is a fairly good (although indirect) indicator of body fatness.
Other measurements that reflect the distribution of body fat—that is, whether more fat is carried around the hips or the abdomen—are increasingly being used along with BMI as indicators of obesity and disease risks. These measurements include waist circumference and the waist-to-hip ratio (the waist circumference divided by the hip circumference).

The standard weight categories based on BMI for adults age 20 years or older are

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Shared from: cancer.gov