THE rising tide of obesity could cause as many as 12,000 new cancers a year in Britain by 2010, researchers warned today.
Excess weight is said to be behind nearly 4% of all cancers. With obesity rates soaring, cancer is likely to strike many thousands more, a study suggests.
Figures show in 2003 there were 24.2 million obese or overweight people in the UK.
The Department of Health has forecast that by 2010 the numbers will have risen by 14% to 27.6 million.
Scientists at Cancer Research UK calculated how many cancers were likely to result from the fattening of Britain's population.
They said the number of weight-related cancers diagnosed each year will probably rise from 10,500 in 2003 to 12,000 in 2010.
After smoking, obesity is one of the most important preventable causes of cancer.