Health Desk-- May 22, 2017: Overweight boys may be more likely to develop colon cancer later in life, but losing weight might lower that risk, Danish researchers say.
The study also found that the overweight boys, who shed the pounds and achieve a healthy weight by young adulthood, do not appear to be at increased risk of colon cancer as adults.
The findings underline how important it is for children to be at healthy weight. Dr.
Britt Wang Jensen and Associate Professor Jennifer Baker from Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen in Denmark with their team analysed the health records of over 61,000 Danish school boys born between 1939 and 1959.
The participants' weight and height were measured at age seven and in young adulthood between age 17-26 years and BMI was calculated. During an average (median) 25-year follow-up, more than 700 boys went on to develop colon cancer.
The analyses showed that boys, who were overweight with BMI greater than 17.88 kg/m2 at age seven years but normal weight (BMI under 25.0 kg/m2) as young men, had similar risk of adult colon cancer as those who maintained a stable, healthy weight throughout.
In contrast, overweight boys who remained overweight as young men, had twice the colon cancer risk. The authors concluded that overweight boys that lose weight and achieve a normal-weight status by young adulthood do not carry an increased risk of adult colon cancer compared with boys who remain normal-weight as young men.
The research is scheduled to be presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal.