Nearly twice as many women as men develop cancer as a result of obesity, official research shows. Globally, 500,000 cancer cases could be attributed to patients being overweight, the World Health Organisation found.
In a league table of 176 nations compiled using the study data top of the list was Barbados, where 12.7 per cent of female cancer cases were blamed on obesity.
Previous research has shown the risk of cancer often rises in tandem with weight, or body mass index (BMI). This is a common form of the disease, and only around 10 per cent of all cases of this cancer are caused by fat.
But in some other types, obesity caused a much higher proportion of cases. For gallbladder cancer, the figure was 50 per cent. Since it is rare, however, that equated to only less than 300 cases.
Obesity is also a major factor in cancers of the oesophagus, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, ovary and womb lining.