Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing ten of the most common cancers — including three gastro-intestinal cancers.
The findings come from a study of over five million UK adults tracked over seven years, published in The Lancet medical journal.
Excess weight is already known to increase the risk of developing cancer, but this study points to the highest-risk cancers.
The study, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is the largest so far to confirm the link.
They found each 13-16kg (2-2.5 stone) of extra weight an average adult gained was linked firmly and linearly to a greater risk of six cancers — including cancer of the gallbladder. And people with high Body Mass Index (calculated using weight and height) were also more likely to develop cancer of the liver and colon, among others.
Study preview (or full text with subscription) in The Lancet