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Is it your fault you're fat?

If you've tried every salad, shake, pill and exercise regime going around, but find that the kilos still aren’t budging, it can be extremely disheartening. But what if you learned that the secret to losing weight was not down to your lifestyle habits - perhaps it's all in your genes?

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Doctors said Westerners had replaced one bad habit with another

Doctors said Westerners had replaced one bad habit with another

Photo: Tamara Voninski

They said spiralling rates of obesity meant that cancer - once seen as a disease of old age - was now increasingly being diagnosed up to two decades earlier than in the past. Their figures suggest one in five cancer deaths in Britain is caused by excess weight.

Speaking at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual conference in Chicago, experts said "staggering" rates of obesity were responsible for the growth of 10 common cancers. Dr Clifford Hudis, a New York breast cancer specialist, said the trends meant that young people were increasingly presenting with diseases usually seen in old age. "Being lean doesn't mean you won't get these diseases, necessarily, but being obese might mean you get them earlier in life," said the former ASCO president.

"So you might get colon cancer at 60 instead of 80." The figures suggest that around 32,000 UK deaths from cancer a year are related to excess weight.

Jennifer Ligibel, a cancer specialist from Harvard University, said: "We have seen rising prevalence of obesity over a relatively short time - in a matter of decades its gone from relatively uncommon to around one in three adults being obese in the US - and the UK is not far behind." Twenty five per cent of Britons are now obese, compared with three per cent in the Seventies.

Dr Ligibel said that, while smoking remained more dangerous on an individual level than excess weight, the prevalence of obesity meant it was fast becoming the key lifestyle driver of cancer.

"We are at a critical point now; we cannot afford to ignore this anymore," she said, warning that on current trends, obesity would overtake smoking as the key cause of cancer in about 10 years.

She said the links between excess weight and cancer were clear.

"It's the case with breast cancer, a prostate cancer, cancer of the colon and all the gynaecological cancers," she said. She highlighted research showing that obesity increased the risk of womb cancer sixfold.

Experts said obesity was driving cancer because it results in hormones imbalances that can fuel tumour growth. Separately, experts yesterday said exercise was such a "potent" force against cancer that it should be prescribed as part of disease treatment. Researchers said women with breast cancer could reduce mortality by up to 50 per cent with half an hour's moderate exercise, five times a week, compared with those who are inactive. The results were based on a study of mice by New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Studies in men with prostate cancer also suggested vigorous exercise was linked to reduction of between 40 and 50 per cent in mortality.

"Exercise creates a hostile environment for cancer cells," the researchers said.

Obesity poised to overtake smoking as key cause of cancer

Obesity poised to overtake smoking as key cause of cancer

Photo: Jim Rice

A middle-aged cancer epidemic is being blamed on the West's poor diet and overly generous portions.

Leading specialists convened on Friday to issue a stark warning that obesity will soon overtake smoking as the principal cause of cancer.

Doctors said Westerners had replaced one bad habit with another, with too many people eating their way towards an early death.

As seen on Channel 9 News

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The Hon. John Della Bosca with the Director and the Manager of the Institute Mr.Elie Jomaa ,and Ms. Narelle Story

The Hon .John Della Bosca (MLC) The Minister for Health NSW.officially opened the new sios The Sydney Institute for Obesity Surgery premises at the Sydney Private Hospital (Ashfield) on the Wednesday 3rd.of .June 2009

More than 50 Obesity specialists ,General Practitioners, Medical and Media Guests attended the opening Ceremony

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Weight loss wonder

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Teens chose banding to fight flab

THE SUN-HERALD April 2, 2006

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Lap band in the news

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  • International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
  • The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • Obesity surgery society of australia and newzealand
  • Society for surgery of the alimentary