Cancer survivors are more likely to be obese, according to new findings. Obesity rates were found to be highest among breast and colon cancer survivors. The study looked at data from nearly 539,000 American adults.
Of those with no history of cancer, only 21 percent were considered obese in 1997, increasing to 29 percent in 2014. Among cancer survivors obesity rate jumped from 22 percent in 1997 to 32 percent in 2014.
Colon cancer survivors had the largest increase in obesity rates, followed by breast cancer survivors. Obesity rates were particularly high among black survivors.
Principal investigator Heather Greenlee said, “While our findings can be partially explained by the growing population of patients with breast and colorectal cancer – the two cancers most closely linked to obesity – we identified additional populations of cancer survivors at risk of obesity not as well understood and which require further study.”
“These results suggest that obesity is a growing public health burden for cancer survivors, which requires targeted interventions including weight management efforts to stave off the increasing obesity trends we are seeing in cancer survivors,” Greenlee concluded.