Health & Spirit

Obesity-related cancers are starting earlier

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In 2011, Usain Bolt was disqualified from the World Championships 100-meter finals -- a race he had dominated for years -- because he left the starting blocks early. A harsh rule change the year before meant that one false start (some call it "sudden death"), instead of two, meant disqualification.

When obesity starts out early, it can mean disqualification too, this time from a healthy life. A recent study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland looked at more than 2.6 million cases of obesity-related cancers, as well as 3.4 million cases of non-obesity-related cancers in the U.S. It revealed that rates for six of 12 cancers related to obesity -- that's colorectal, uterine, gallbladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer, and multiple myeloma -- have significantly increased for adults under 50. In fact, the rates for those cancers among millennials (born 1981-1996) is about double the rate for baby boomers (born 1946-1964) when they were the same age.

Excess weight is a known carcinogen -- fueling inflammation, feeding cancer cells and accelerating their growth. When younger folks are overweight and obese, it just gives the fat more time to fuel cancer.

The takeaway? If you or someone in your family is an overweight child, adolescent or adult under 50, it's possible to reclaim the future by eating a whole-food, plant-centered diet and getting as much physical activity as possible. Besides slashing the risk for early onset of obesity-related cancers, you'll be creating protection from cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Momma Working it Out Loose Parts Bizarro Jerry King Cartoons Ask Shagg