Cancer Research UK says that within 25 years, the leading cause of preventable cancer in the UK amongst women will no longer be smoking but will be obesity instead. Part of that is down to the fact the most common’s weight related cancers only affect women such as breast cancer. Cancer Research UK says that adult obesity increases the risk of as many as 13 different types of cancer ranging from bowel to kidney cancer. Less than 1 in 7 people in the UK however are aware there is a link between obesity and cancer.
Cancer Research UK has been running an awareness campaign featuring massive posters in locations where there is plenty of footfall. The organisation is seeking to show people they have gaps in their knowledge and wants to educate the public that the biggest preventable cause of cancer today after smoking is obesity. A Cancer Research UK spokesperson says a half century ago, most people were unaware that smoking causes cancer.
Highlighting the link between obesity and cancer
Today the organisation wants to highlight the link between obesity and cancer and make sure it has the public’s attention so that they know the facts. Companies are bombarding the public with advertisements for junk food. Many accessible foods are high in calories which makes it very difficult for people to maintain a healthy weight.
The government needs to act
Cancer Research UK hopes that its campaign will force the government to take measures to tackle the obesity epidemic and make it easier for all us to make far healthier choices. Obesity is a massive threat to public health that will only get worse if we fail to act. The government can help reduce the number of obesity related cancers by making it simpler for people to maintain a healthy weight and protect their children. Overweight children are five times more likely to be obese as an adult.
Awareness campaigns and legislation work
The measures Cancer Research UK is urging the government to adopt is a ban on junk food advertisements before 9PM and for restrictions to be placed of the discounting of less healthy products. The reduction in the number of people who smoke is something society needs to celebrate. It is an example of what can happen after decades of efforts to raise awareness of the health risks associated with the habit. When you combine that with strong political support such as taxation policy, banning advertising and smoking in indoor places, the efforts do pay off.