Experts share 18 ways to lose weight as obesity becomes 'biggest cause of cancer'

At a recent European obesity conference, an Italian study proposed changing the BMI cut-off for obesity to 27 in adults over the age of 40
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Obesity has reportedly overtaken smoking as the leading cause of cancer and may be responsible for almost 50 per cent of all cases, according to a new study.

The Swedish study has linked the largely preventable condition to 32 types of cancer, meaning it may be responsible for 760,000 US cases and 150,000 UK cases every year, according to What Doctors Don't Tell You magazine.

In what will come as a surprise to many, the report claims an obese person is now thought to be twice as likely as a smoker to develop cancer, yet 20 per cent of all cancers and roughly 80 per cent of lung cancers can be attributed to smoking.

Ming Sun, the study's lead researcher, said: "Our findings suggest that the impact of obesity on cancer might be greater than previously known, in that it is a risk factor for more cancers, especially of rarer kind.

"Some of these have rarely or never before been investigated in relation to obesity."

Overweight girl using scales near measuring tape on wooden floor, selective focus
The Swedish study revealed that obesity may account for 32 types and 90 subtypes of cancer -Credit:Getty

Cancer Research UK says high fat levels can increase the body's growth hormones, meaning cells can divide more often, and it can begin an inflammatory cycle that can quickly divide cells, both of which can be antecedents to cancer.

Obesity was previously linked to 13 types of cancer, including breast, bowel and kidney, but the Swedish study, completed by Lund University researchers, revealed that it may account for 32 types and 90 subtypes.

They include cancers of the stomach, small intestine, sinuses, neck, head, vulva and penis. Over the course of the 40-year study, the researchers examined the health of 4.1 million people.

More than 330,000 people developed cancer, with the participants found to be obese in 40 per cent of all cases. The researchers estimated that every five-point increase in BMI raises a man's cancer risk by 24 per cent and a woman's by 12 per cent.

It comes as patients increasingly look to semaglutide, which is marketed under the brand names Wegovy, Ozempic and Rybelsus, for rapid weight loss. It's important to note that neither Ozempic or Rybelsus are licensed for this use in the UK.

Overweight woman measuring her waist with a tape measure
A healthy diet remains one of the most effective and safe methods to lose weight -Credit:Getty

Semaglutide is a "dangerous drug" and carries a "black box" warning (the highest alert given by the US' Food and Drug Administration), according to the magazine, as it could potentially raise the risk of thyroid tumours, cancers or intestinal blockages.

Opting for a healthy diet and avoiding processed food and sugary drinks remains one of the most effective and safe methods to lose weight. Here are 18 natural ways to shed the pounds, according to What Doctors Don't Tell You.

1. Eat a varied, fresh, and organic diet

Your diet should include nutritious, colourful fruits, vegetables and herbs. The magazine, contrary to the popular five-a-day saying, encouraged people to eat "nine or 10" daily.

Fruit often has few calories but is high in water and fibre, meaning you will likely feel more full, thus reducing calorie intake. Veg is also associated with a high fibre content and can bulk up your meals without adding too many calories.

2. Eat vegetables that help fat regulators

The magazine advised people to eat cruciferous vegetables, which include things like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, onions, garlic and asparagus. They can aid weight loss due to their high fibre and low calorie content.

3. Eat fruits that stoke fat-burning hormones

These can include bananas, apples, blueberries, cherries, oranges and grapefruit.

4. Include herbs that aid fat-burning

You could try ginseng, cinnamon, bilberry, peppermint oil, turmeric and aloe vera.

5. Use plenty of spices in your cooking

Some spices can reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism.

6. Eat fresh, uncooked and unsalted nuts

Nuts are nutritious, have antioxidants and can be beneficial to your health if you eat them as part of a balanced diet. They can also be a healthy alternative to fatty snacks.

7. Eat an adequate intake of omega-3 fats

You can find these in fish like salmon and tuna, as well as walnuts, flaxseed and pulses.

8. Don't eat late at night

A University of Pennsylvania study discovered that eating later can lead to weight gain and reduced fat burning and have a negative impact on insulin and cholesterol levels.

9. Add protein to your breakfast

Eating protein could help you lose body fat and maintain muscle mass, according to EatingWell.

10. Make sure you sleep seven to eight hours every night

According to Harvard Health, a lack of sleep is linked with higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite, and lower levels of leptin, which makes you feel less full.

11. Cut out or cut down on refined sugar

12. Increase sweat-producing exercise

13. Look for grains with a lower GI (low glycemic) score

These could include pasta, brown rice, quinoa, oats and barley. Some evidence suggests that these types of diets can promote fat-loss.

14. Watch your carb intake

The magazine also suggested avoiding "white stuff", including white bread, potatoes, white rice, pastries, cakes and high-GI drinks like beer and soda.

15. Take high-quality supplements rich in B vitamins

The magazine particularly recommends B12, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc and coenzyme Q10, which helps tackle inflammation.

16. Avoid fake low-calorie foods

Be particularly careful with artificial sweeteners and diet soft drinks.

17. Eat three good meals a day and don't snack

Leave at least 12 hours between your last meal and breakfast (including sleep).

18. Drink plenty of water

You can also drink green and black tea and fresh orange, as well as blueberry, cherry, pomegranate and vegetable juices.