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Overweight teenagers at double risk of bowel cancer.

VERY overweight or obese teenagers are at twice the risk of developing bowel cancer in middle age compared with their slimmer peers, a study has suggested.

The findings are from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Tam Fry, patron of the Child Growth Foundation and a spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said the findings were "alarming".

Adult obesity has long been associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer.

Researchers in the US looked at the records of 240,000 men born between 1952 and 1956 who underwent a compulsory conscription assessment for the Swedish military during their late teens. At the time 81% of the participants they studied were of normal weight, but 1.5% fell into the upper overweight group and nearly 1% were obese.

Analysis of the men's health around 35 years later found that a total of 885 had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Scientists found those who were in the upper overweight male group had a 2.08-fold higher risk of developing the condition, while for obese men there was a 2.38-fold greater risk.

Mr Fry said: "These children are the hidden epidemic in 10 years' time."

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 26, 2015
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