Does Obesity Cause Cancer?

By on December 12, 2012
Does obesity cause cancer?

Does obesity cause cancer?Over the years, scientists, researchers, and  physicians have participated in numerous studies to determine one of the biggest, no pun intended, questions in the health and fitness industry: does obesity cause cancer?

Now, let’s get this started on the right foot. This is a rather sensitive subject, and you’re likely to have a gut reaction. This isn’t a comfortable issue, but comfort is not more important than your health. So let’s dig in and discuss this.

Does obesity cause cancer? Points to consider:

The Current Medical Debate

Over the past few decades, both obesity and cancer rates have gone up significantly. The National Cancer Institute reports that obese individuals are more likely to get the following types of cancer:

  • Esophagus
  • Pancreas
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Breast
  • Endometrium
  • Kidney
  • Thyroid
  • Gallbladder

The National Cancer Institute further speculates that an overall BMI reduction of 2.2 pounds per person in the United States might avoid 100,000 new cases of cancer. Numerous other studies from the United States to Europe to Asia have found similar results.

However, the mere presence of a correlation does not make something conclusive. As the joke goes, if ambulances show up at every fatal accident, maybe we should ban the ambulances from coming.

While that is not entirely the case here, scientists and doctors are still looking to refine their results to determine whether the obesity itself causes the increased or, as fine as the difference may be, whether obese individuals have more exposure to something which causes the cancer.

Even the National Cancer Institute warns that it is difficult to tell whether it is the obesity itself or the lifestyle which leads to obesity that is a true cause for cancer.

So What Does Obesity Cause

What doctors and physicians have been able to document is the effect that obesity has on the body as well as certain lifestyle choices that encourage both obesity and cancer.

Obesity places strain at the cellular level as well as the skeletal. When you are overweight, your body must work harder to maintain peak performance. Additionally, increases in weight gain can cause a suppression of the genes which balance testosterone and estrogen.

Tumors exposed to the estrogen enlarge at a faster rate.

Additionally, increased fat cells create inflammation within the body by the increased weight. As the cells seem to fight within the body for their place, the body becomes susceptible to cancer development, according to Suzanne Dixon, MPH, RD.

Additionally, individuals who are obese are less likely to eat enough healthy vegetables, tending rather to saturate their bodies with sugar and salt. Cardiovascular and strength training exercises of any kind are limited to none at all.

Additional studies have linked stressful lifestyles with further bad habits and increased cancer risks such as lack of sleep and internalization of stress, grief, and other similar negative emotions. Those who suffer from grief and depression are also more likely to use food as a comforter, which leads to further weight gain.

An Even Deadlier Corolation

No discussion of cancer would be complete though without returning to another deep cause that keeps cropping its nasty head up whenever we look at the risks of obesity. Back in 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells metabolize resources differently from healthy ones and linked it with sugar.

Obese individuals tend to consume foods high in sugar, fructose, and glucose. The importance of this correlation is that even those who are not obese should be cautious of their sugar consumption.

The sugar cancer connection has continued under research and has remained positive. As studies reported to the National Cancer Institute continue to bring in their results, what is clear is that weight loss does seem to reduce the likelihood of cancer.

But in most cases, when people start to lose weight, they generally cut out sugar and processed foods. Those who regain the weight are typically those who go back to their high sugar lifestyles.

Many different weight loss plans exist. The importance of this distinction is that if it is merely obesity that causes cancer, than losing weight in any way should be sufficient.

But if the sugar consumption is the chief cause with the obesity being more of a corollary in most cases, then the most vital step that you can do to protect yourself is to start restricting your sugar consumption.

Dr. Patrick Quillin, Ph.D. reported on some of his patients who struggled with nutrition, weight and cancer. Instead of abnormally long hours of potentially damaging fitness programs to reduce weight, he encouraged reductions in sugar.

What Does This Mean For You

No one wants to get cancer. Trying to find the cure is the holy grail of the scientific and medical worlds. However, that doesn’t help those of us who are trying to avoid it. What we can do is reduce the risks on as many points as possible.

The first step is to restrict sugar from your diet. Dr. Otto Warberg’s findings on the affect of fermentated sugar in the body’s cells and the altered state of cancer cells is still persuasive to this day.

The next step is to take steps to reduce your weight in a healthful but quick way. Mike Geary’s Truth About Abs provides a step by step program that answers essential questions and provides the necessary steps to succeed.

Regardless of whether obesity is the direct cause of cancer, it is vital to lose the weight as soon as possible. Reducing sugar will likewise have a powerful effect on your quality of life and your health as well.

And that goes for whether you’re morbidly obese or skinny as a rail.


“Obesity and Cancer Risk” National Cancer Institute,

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, RD, “Understanding How Obesity Causes Cancer,” Guide, January 25, 2010.

“Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg: The Cause of Cancer,” Health Resolution Revolution: Freedom From Chronic Disease  (Apr. 3, 2010).

Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS, “Cancer’s Sweet Tooth,” Nutrition Science News (Apr. 2000) and “Cancer’s Sweet Tooth” Take Control  of Your Health

Mike Geary, Truth About Abs, (2012).




About Michael Tremba

Dr. Michael Tremba, once severely overweight himself, has studied to distinguish the truth about weight loss, and the shocking mis-information that's taught to us by many "trusted" groups. Through the techniques that have helped him regain his health, he shares uncommon tools to help anyone else desiring to lose weight to live the life they're meant to. He enjoys reading, exercising, travelling, and spending time with his wife, Shari in Mobile, Alabama Find me on Twitter, Google+ and let's connect on LinkedIn.
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