Every year in Brazil diagnosed about 15 000 new cases of cancer, and the researchers found that about 4 percent of these cases could be avoided if the fight against overweight and obesity.
Scientists from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and Harvard University in the United States carried out an epidemiological study, which predicts that the number of new cancer cases are due to overweight and obesity will double by 2025, reaching 29 000 cases, or 4.6% of new cancer cases in Brazil.
According to the World Health Organization, overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of developing several types of cancer, including gallbladder cancer, liver, multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma, etc.
Income growth observed in Brazil in recent years has led to higher levels of consumption, including the consumption of processed foods and high-calorie foods high in sugar, salt and fat.
The researchers calculated the relationship of BMI and the number of cancer cases in the population. According to the study, 3.8 percent of the 400,000 cases associated with high BMI, women with higher levels (5.2 percent) than men (2.6 percent). Morbidity data were obtained from the National Cancer Institute (INCA) and the WHO database GLOBOCAN data.
According to the authors, the highest risk of all types of cancer have been observed in the southern region (3.4 per cent for women and 1.5 per cent for men) and the South-East region (3.3 percent for women and 1.5 per cent for men) . Influence of obesity is particularly noticeable, for example, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, where the population is rich and has a higher BMI.
"The molecular and metabolic mechanisms are well documented. Obesity causes insulin resistance that results in inflammation and an increase in cell proliferation, "- Professor explains Eluf Neto.
According to the data, in Latin America for the period from 2000 to 2013, sales of processed foods increased by 103%. During the same period rose sharply BMI. The authors call for change public health policies related to taxation and restrictions on advertising junk food to reduce overweight and obesity.
Growth of consumption of processed foods in Brazil is comparable to what happened with tobacco in the 1980s. Smoking is mainly a problem in low- and middle-income countries where there are no restrictions. In Brazil, there were restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in enclosed public places was banned. Scientists are talking about the need to introduce such restrictions on the processed products to protect human health.
Researchers are also working on an assessment of other factors, including smoking, diet and alcohol consumption. "There are genetic factors that increase the risk of cancer, but can not change them. Smoking is a major risk factor and a cause of cancer in Brazil. Therefore, other factors become important for the development of public policy. Data show that the efforts to combat smoking can not be dropped, but the fight against overweight and obesity should also be a priority, "- said Rezende, head of research.