HomeHealthObesity serious risk factor for certain cancers, dietician warns

Obesity serious risk factor for certain cancers, dietician warns

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Amarachi Okeh

The Assistant Chief Dietician at Ajeromi General Hospital, Lagos, Olusola Malomo has warned that being overweight or obese is a serious risk factor for some cancers.

Being overweight, the dietician said, is also a risk factor for cardiovascular health conditions and rheumatic disorders.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, Malomo urged Nigerians to stop seeing eating as a form of recreation and also avoid eating unhealthy junk food, noting that such behaviour contributes to obesity.

“Being overweight can predispose an individual to diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, rheumatism and even some forms of cancers,” he said.

This is as the US National Cancer Institute affirmed that compared with people of normal weight, those who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for many diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and many cancers.

Also, Cancer Research UK – a cancer research and awareness charity in the United Kingdom said overweight and obesity cause 13 different types of cancer.

These forms of cancers include breast, bowel, pancreatic, oesophageal, gallbladder, womb, ovarian, kidney, liver and upper stomach, myeloma, meningioma, and thyroid cancers.

The dietician listed eating just to gratify oneself, eating as a form of recreation, eating unhealthy junk food, eating lots of fried food, and eating more than the recommended allowance per day as reasons many people find it difficult to lose weight.

He also flayed the cultural and social assumption that being overweight is a sign of good health, noting that being overweight should not be seen as a sign of good living by Nigerians. 

Malomo also stated that some mental health medications can predispose some people to become overweight, adding that those who also eat more than they require to be active are also likely to become overweight.

He stressed that being overweight or obese is never a sudden occurrence but a result of accumulation that comes over time.

On how people can deal with the challenge of being overweight, Malomo said, “I would advise you to see a dietician because management is usually individualised.

“When you see someone that is overweight, it could come with some morbid conditions. Like someone can be overweight and have diabetes and other conditions so the management is based on what the individual presents.”

The dietician, however, suggested a general guideline for a healthy weight which includes following the food pyramid, eating more fruits and vegetables, staying away from excessive oil, reduction of high calories low nutrients food items.

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