Obesity-related cancers on the rise among young adults, study finds

Obesity-related cancers are on the rise among young adults, a new study found (Photo: KATV)

Doctor Diane Wilder doesn't sugarcoat the results.

"It's very sobering," the oncologist at the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute said.

In the medical journal The Lancet, experts analyzed a dozen cancers related to obesity. The findings were sobering to Wilder because they found that among younger people ages 25-49, there was significant rise in diagnoses for at least half of the 12 cancers.

"This is not an old person's disease anymore, "Wilder said, "but it's coming down into their particular lives."

The study found endometrial, kidney, gallbladder and pancreatic cancers are all on the rise among younger people. This reason for that is unknown, according to Wilder, but she thinks younger people's diets and everyday stress can contribute to overeating and obesity, which could lead to these cancers.

"Food is an easy release,” Wilder said. "But at the same time, as a community, we can turn that around."

Roughly 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, such as walking, and eating smaller portions can make a difference, according to Wilder.

"Those are things under our control, so that we can make changes," she said. "We do have power over our lives ... we are not subject to the [changing circumstances] of the culture and what's around us. We really are empowered to change our health."

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