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Cancer could be prevented by losing weight

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A leading cancer scientist says that almost 19,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year if people had a healthy BMI.

Why is cancer in the news again?

18,600 cases of cancer could be prevented per year if everyone had a healthy weight, according to Professor Martin Wiseman, a scientist from the World Cancer Research Fund.

Don't we know this already?

There's already lots of evidence that being a healthy weight can help prevent cancer. The WCRF actually recommends that people be as lean as possible while still in the healthy BMI range.

According to them, a person at the top of the healthy range is 15% more likely to get bowel cancer than a person at the bottom of it.

Being a healthy weight could also prevent cancer of the breast, oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, womb lining and gall bladder.

What's a healthy BMI?

BMI stands for body mass index - it's a way of measuring whether you're a healthy weight depending on your height.

A BMI of under 18.5 is underweight. Between 18.5 and 24.9 is the healthy range, 25-29.9 is overweight and over 30 is obese.

Find out how to work out your BMI

Aren't other things more important for preventing cancer?

The WCRF says that after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing for cancer prevention.

People tend to think that cancer is caused by their genes and other factors out of their control. Actually, Cancer Research UK say half of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes including not smoking, not going on sun beds, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.

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Where to next?

More information on the causes of cancer
Nutritional recipes for during cancer
Choose a diet
Help to eat healthily
How to calculate your BMI

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