Diabetes, obesity behind 800,000 cases of cancer worldwide

New research has revealed a direct link between diabetes, obesity and cancer and women face the greatest risk. (Shutterstock)
Updated 28 November 2017
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Diabetes, obesity behind 800,000 cases of cancer worldwide

PARIS: Nearly six percent of new cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2012 — some 800,000 cases — were caused by diabetes and excess weight, according to a study published Tuesday.
Among the 12 types of cancer examined, the proportion of cases chalked up to these factors was as high as a third, researchers reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a leading medical journal.
Cancers stemming from diabetes and obesity combined was almost twice as common among women than men, they found.
And of the two cancer-causing agents, being overweight or obese — above 25 on the body-mass index, or BMI — was responsible for twice as many cancers as diabetes.
The conditions, in reality, are often found together, as obesity is itself a leading risk factor for diabetes.
“While obesity has been associated with cancer for some time, the link between diabetes and cancer has only been established quite recently,” said lead author Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine.
“Our study shows that diabetes — either on its own or combined with being overweight — is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world.”
A surge in both conditions over the last four decades has made the tally significantly worse, the study showed.
The global increase in diabetes between 1980 and 2002 accounted for a quarter of the 800,000 cases, while the obesity epidemic over the same period resulted in an additional 30 percent of cases.
On current trends, the share of cancers attributable to the two conditions will increase by 30 percent for women and 20 percent for men in less than 20 years, the researchers warned.
“In the past, smoking was by far the major risk factor for cancer, but now health care professionals should also be aware that patients who have diabetes or are overweight also have an increased risk,” Pearson-Stuttard said.
For men, obesity and diabetes accounted for more than 40 percent of liver cancers, while for women they were responsible for a third of uterine cancers, and nearly as many cases of breast cancer.
The threshold for obesity is a BMI — one’s weight in kilos divided by one’s height (in centimeters) squared — of 30.
To conduct the study, researchers gathered data on cases of 12 types of cancer from 175 countries in 2012, and matched it with data on weight and diabetes.
People with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered to be overweight.


Startup of the Week: For the love of chocolate

Joudy Delights take part in many of Jeddah’s public events. (Supplied)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Startup of the Week: For the love of chocolate

  • The store offers additional flavors every month for a limited time

The love for chocolates transcends geographical boundaries, ideologies and cultures. Chocolates are considered a must in times of happiness and to express one’s feelings all across the world.
Saudis also share the love for sweets or chocolates with rest of the world. People in this part of the world do not mind trying different kinds of chocolates — from traditional Arab ones to their European counterparts from as far as Switzerland.
Keeping in view the huge popularity of chocolates in the Kingdom, a Saudi couple decided to launch their own business in 2017. Joudy Delights is a local, home-based specialized chocolate brand that is produced with the highest quality ingredients. The Jeddah-based store is run by 25-year-old housewife Wejdan Shaheen and 29-year-old private sector employee Rakan Nejaim.
Due to stiff competition in this business, it is necessary for an entrepreneur to come up with a novel idea so as to gain an edge over his competitors.
The couple, faced with the same dilemma, chose to introduce a delicious dessert in the market.
“Any new idea needs to go through a lot of experiments. We also had to face the situation when we decided to introduce our famous chocoballs. The finalized version of the product took some time. We had to carefully select the best combination of chocolate and suitable stuffing,” said Nejaim.
Joudy Delights offers milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate that are filled with two types of different chocolates and two types of biscuits which Shaheen calls their “secret mix.”
The store also offers additional flavors every month for a limited time.
“The milk chocolate chocoballs or what we call our original chocoballs is our most popular product,” said Shaheen.
The number of orders per week differs depending on the season, said Nejaim. “But we receive on an average 65-70 orders per week.”
Joudy Delights take part in many of Jeddah’s public events.
“Many of our clients prefer our products at family gatherings like weddings etc.,” Shaheen said.
The store is planning to expand its reach outside Jeddah, and is likely to introduce a delivery service. Joudy Delights can be found at local Saudi talent shop Crate, located in Al-Salamah district.