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Childhood Obesity Could Increase Risk of Cancer

| Date Posted: 8/13/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

Many conversations this year, an election year, have turned to politics. Discussions about the war, debt and unemployment are everywhere. Some people complain about the 8% unemployment rate of Americans and try and point fingers. 8% of working Americans equals 12.5 million people! People are astonished and outraged and are clamoring for that number to lower. Little do they know that there is the same amount of kids, 12.5 million, ages 2-19 who are obese. (Source: CDC: Childhood Overweight and Obesity)

The childhood obesity rate has increased by threefold in the last three decades. 4.2% of children ages 6-11 in the 1960’s were obese compared to the 19.6% of children the same age in 2008.  (Source: CDC: Childhood Overweight and Obesity) Childhood obesity can cause many long-term health problems for the adolescents including, low self-esteem, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. (Source: AMA: Childhood Obesity)

New research from Tel Aviv University has revealed that obesity during childhood can increase the chance of cancer by 50%.  Dr. Ari Shamiss and Dr. AdiLeibra of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center and his fellow researchers found that children with a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher have an increased risk of urothelial (bladder and urinary tract) and colorectal cancers in adulthood.

The researchers conducted a longitudinal study of a cohort of 1.1 million males in the Israeli Defense forces whose health information was gathered by the army, with a follow-up period of 18 years. With this information the research discovered a clear link between childhood BMI and those who were diagnosed with urothelial or colorectal cancers later in life.  Further research is needed to determine the correlation between obesity and other cancers.

It is important to live a preventive lifestyle when it comes to cancer and obesity.  Eating healthier and increasing your knowledge of obesity and cancer risk factors are important.  FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has a Health and Fitness Center available that offers personal trainers, fitness coaches and licensed dietitians to help guide you in the right direction.

If you or someone you know has urothelial or colorectal cancer or symptoms of urothelial or colorectal cancer, call (910) 715-3500. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s FirstHealth Cancer Services offers various treatments and support for colorectal cancer patients and survivors in the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Troy and Rockingham regions of NC and beyond.

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