Overweight and obesity causes 13 types of cancer: oesophageal, stomach, bowel, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, breast, uterus, ovary, kidney, thyroid, myeloma, and meningioma.
Incidence of some overweight- and obesity-related cancers including uterine, kidney and bowel cancer is increasing, at least partly due to increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. Cancer incidence is expected to rise further if current trends in overweight and obesity prevalence persist.
Overweight and obesity are leading risk factors for death in the world. Obesity caused an estimated 6% of deaths in England in 1998; this proportion has likely increased as the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased. Overweight and obesity causes 6% of cancer cases in the UK.
- Wang YC, McPherson K, Marsh T, et al. Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK. Lancet 2011;378(9793):815-25.
- World Health Organisation. Obesity and overweight. Accessed October 2014.
- National Audit Office. Tackling Obesity in England. London: HMSO; 2001.
- Public Health England. Obesity and mortality. Accessed October 2014.
- Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018.
About this data
Data is for: UK, 2015, ICD-10 C00-C97 excl. C44.