OB_S__Y is a cause of cancer.
Regular readers will be well aware of the links between excess body weight and cancer as described by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (https://thescpn.org/2HNNz8C) but what a shock this message is to many parts of society who took the time to comment on the CRUK campaign of awareness raising.
How uncomfortable for us all, given we are so used to posters of happy children eating junk food, big burger smiles, strong girder drinks and smiling supplement users. Clearly stark posters with simple messages are just too offensive in our warm and safe marketing landscape. It has been quite some time since we saw the posters reminding us about tobacco harms,whether it be the pictures of lungs, stinky hair or dead horses. Now the images are kept for the cigarette packets whist the rest of us can avoid such visuals. But for those of us with longer memories the messages on those posters about the harms of smoking were so clear. Collectively we all know smoking is bad health news….and the aim of those campaigns was never to outlaw smokers or create guilt but raise awareness and they succeeded!
The health risks associated with obesity are too big to ignore. There is a duty of care to communicate what the experts have identified to the public. I am not a believer in keeping science secrets- but we need to shame the causes of obesity not the people who suffer.
It is a pity that CRUK have not (yet) said a bit more about the increasing body of evidence that shows that losing excess weight can REDUCE risk of cancer. What we desperately need now are environments that support and help us to be active and market healthy foods and healthy portions.
Professor Annie S. Anderson
Professor Bob Steele