A radio show from the BBC recently featured a metastudy which concluded that obesity "causes" cancer. The researchers opined that 100,000 cases a year can be linked to obesity. According to the Washington Post:
This study, from scientists at the University of Manchester, analyzed 141 articles involving 282,137 cancer cases and 20 different types of malignancies to determine the cancer risk associated with a 5 kilogram-per-meter-squared increase in BMI, roughly the increase that would bump a person from middle-normal weight into overweight.
141 articles isn't that many of course, not withstanding that they can pick and choose which articles to include and also, probably did not have a real accurate measure of BMI from the studies anyway.
It should be noted that over 1.6 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the USA every year, so even if their figures were correct that would only be 6 percent of cancers (according to WEBMD.COM) which can be linked to obesity - 94 percent of which can NOT be linked to obesity. The researchers on the program admitted that lifestyle factors like sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices were a player and briefly mentioned "the link between tobacco and cancer" but did not give any figures.
WebMD states that these figures linking obesity and cancer, were "estimated" from existent data (what the junkfoodscience.blogspot.com calls a "data dredge" study.).
So how does excess fat "cause" cancer? The researchers didn't have an answer for that but opined that fat tissue, produces estrogen. What they didn't tell us is that fat tissue produces the type of estrogen our bodies can use but when we flood our bodies with synthetic pharmaceutical estrogen, this raises the risk of breast cancer FAR MORE than 6 percent.
For example the HERS study on 11,000 women, a double blind study found a 26 percent higher incidence of breast cancer in those in the cohort, on low dose birth control medications. 26 percent OBSERVED in a double blind study which was stopped midterm. Not a tiny 6 percent from "estimated" figures.
Synthetic estrogen was put on the FDA list of carcinogens in 2005.
Finally, it should also be noted that researcher, Dr. Glen Gaesser stated in his book, "BIG FAT LIES" (CA, 2002) that he found in his metastudy of all the obesity research in the previous 20 years, that obese people seemed to get cancer significantly LESS often than non obese people. 40 percent less cancer in the obese, than normal weight people, concluded Gaesser.
Dr Linda Bacon, respected scientist and author of "HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE", was also on the BBC program and started to directly refute the findings with cited studies. As soon as they found she could do this, she was rudely interrupted (twice!). Before they cut her off, she pointed out that for example in a group of 23 studies, only 4 had suggested a significant link between obesity and cancer so she asked how these researchers could conclude from a small percentage like that, that obesity "causes" cancer. They evaded her question, of course.
I wrote the BBC a comment accusing them of dishonesty in news reporting and challenged them to have Dr Bacon on again to tell the REALITY of what the studies on obesity and cancer REALLY show. Perhaps some of you might want to do same.
Until we demand more honesty out of the news services, we won't get it. Fat activist Marilyn Wann was on the same program. Here's the link:
BBC radio program on the so-called "obesity link" to cancer