Excess body fat increases the risk of cancer



In August 2017, after the holidays, I weighed 141 kg and at that moment I decided that I had to remedy this situation. That October I signed up for a veterans basketball team, believing that by just doing sports I could lose weight, since I didn’t have the feeling that I was eating poorly (“healthy” food, but a little more than I should).


At the end of the season (in June) he had lost 7 kilos, but I was not at all satisfied with the result. At that moment, after a meeting with the scientific and ethics committee, I realized how badly I was doing so far, putting my health at risk, and I began to realize that I had to take drastic measures immediately and I did it like that.


Being overweight, and in my case morbid obesity, increases the risk of suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and something that surprised me, and that I was unaware of, is that it increases the risk of suffering from cancer.


Carrying out my nutrigenetic profile has allowed me to find out why, with the eating habits I had, I was gaining weight (my visceral fat increased) and it has given me the tools to avoid having a higher risk (than average) of contracting diseases such as cancer.


What percentage of cancers are caused by obesity?

The World Health Organization (WHO), within the global cancer observatory, has an online tool where you can find statistics on cancer.


According to this tool, 6.0% of the cancers that can be selected in the application are caused by excess body fat in Spain.




The data in the tool is updated as of 2012 and data can be filtered by the following types of cancer:


  • Breast cancer (postmenstrual).
  • Colon cancer.
  • Uterine cancer.
  • Gallbladder cancer.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Rectal cancer.


To finish this post, I want to provide how I figure out the percentage of colon cancer numbers that are caused by excess body fat. This data seems interesting to me for two reasons.


The first of these is that colon cancer is the most common in Spain. These are the cases detected in 2018 by type of cancer in Spain.


Source: AECC Observatory


The second reason is that in my circle (friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers,…), of the people who have had cancer, many of them have had colon cancer and I cannot remember any of them who are not overweight. . This is not a scientific fact, but it did make me think a lot when I found the relationship between excess body fat and cancer.


That said, the percentage of colon cancers caused by excess body fat in Spain in 2012 was 16.3%.




Carlos Martín, CTO of medmesafe






Project manager of the architecture service in SEPE Central Services - Procesia WEB and API architecture service coordinator - INECO Former CTO - medmesafe