Media Release

Media backgrounder: Excess weight
 

TORONTO, ON -

Key findings from ComPARe: Excess weight

  • Currently, more than 1 out of every 2 Canadian adults has excess weight
  • Excess weight increases the risk for at least 13 different types of cancer
  • For the purpose of the ComPARe study, excess weight includes both overweight and obesity and is defined by a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25kg/m2
  • Excess weight as measured by BMI is recognized as a cancer risk factor by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)
  • Excess weight is expected to become the second leading preventable cause of cancer in Canada by 2042, after tobacco
  • The number of new cancer cases due to excess weight will nearly triple by 2042, increasing from 7,200 to 21,200
  • If more Canadians had a healthy body weight, about 110,600 cases of cancer could be prevented by 2042 
  • The type of cancers that are most strongly associated with excess weight are esophageal adenocarcinoma and endometrial cancer
  • Excess weight increases the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma and endometrial cancer by about 50%. It increases the risk of kidney, gallbladder, stomach cardia and liver cancers by 20-30%

Reducing cancer risk due to excess weight

  • CCS recognizes obesity as a chronic disease. The causes of obesity are complex and encompass social, economic, physiological, environmental and political factors
  • No one policy option will solve the increasing incidence of overweight and obesity in Canada. Coordinated and comprehensive action is necessary across all levels of government and across a number of different sectors to reduce obesity, including making healthy food and physical activity choices easier for Canadians

Actions that can be taken to help tackle obesity include:

  • taking steps to prevent childhood obesity
  • enacting healthy public policies that we know will work to reduce excess weight
  • improving access to obesity treatment
  • addressing weight bias and obesity stigma in our workplace, healthcare and education systems
  • continuing to research causes and treatment

CCS supports physical activity through active transportation partnerships and advocates for healthy public policies to help make healthy eating accessible for everyone including:

  • revisions to Canada’s Food Guide
  • introducing front-of-package labelling
  • restricting marketing to kids
  • introducing a manufacturers’ levy on sugary drinks

For more information on the results of the ComPARe study, please visit prevent.cancer.ca or visit cancer.ca/prevention to learn more about how you can lower your cancer risk.

ComPARe study media release
ComPARe study backgrounder

For more information, please contact:

Brooke Kelly
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Cancer Society
National office
Phone: 416-934-5321