Link between obesity and cancer to be tackled by pioneering health project in Merseyside

Fourty-one percent of certain types of cancer can be attributed to obesity, according to the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance.

<p>A family enjoying walking in the woods. Image: World Obesity Federation</p>

A family enjoying walking in the woods. Image: World Obesity Federation

A pioneering initative has been launched to cut cancer rates by tackling obesity across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Over a quarter of the UK adult population live with obesity and 41% of certain types of cancer can be attributed to obesity, according to the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA).

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The Strategic Overweight and Obesity Project, commissioned by the CMCA, will create awareness campaigns in a bid to help people change their lifestyles.

The project, which will be delivered by public health charity, Health Equalities Group, will include work with Liverpool John Moores University researchers to analyse weight levels, cancer rates and deprivation data in Cheshire and Merseyside.

CMCA is committing to a five-year programme of funding for the work to create ‘long-term sustainable approaches’.

A family enjoying walking in the woods. Image: World Obesity Federation

New cancer cases per 100,000 are higher in the Cheshire and Merseyside region (598.0) than the England average (5528.8), with 99,749 people living with a cancer diagnosis across Cheshire and Merseyside in 2018.

Excess weight is one of the main modifiable risk factors for the disease.

Tracey Wright, Associate Director of CMCA, said: “Those who live with obesity or who are overweight face an increased risk of cancer.

“This project is vital in making people aware of this so they can be supported in lowering their weight and cut the risk of developing the disease.

“Overweight and obesity rates are the second largest modifiable risk factor for cancer, so the overall aim of this project is to reduce prevalence of this across Cheshire and Merseyside.

“We are delighted to be working with Health Equalities Group to launch this initiative. One of the primary tasks for the first year of this project is to form an obesity, overweight and cancer prevention network for Cheshire and Merseyside.

“This will be a hub of connectivity, bringing together system leaders and stakeholders to increase the reach of the project’s initiatives, and we would like to invite people from across the area to join, including clinicians in primary and secondary care and local community organisations.”

Matthew Philpott, Executive Director for Health Equalities Group, said: “We are excited to be working with the cancer alliance on this ground-breaking project addressing overweight and obesity in Cheshire and Merseyside, and we can’t wait to deliver the network launch event in July.

“We know that taking a system-wide approach to lowering levels of overweight and obesity is essential if we are to make any significant progress on this critical agenda. Therefore, we will ensure that a wide range of stakeholders are engaged through the network, including the voices of voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations and the private sector, along with patients and local populations.”

A free online launch event is open to the public from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday, July 14th, 2022. It is free of charge to attend and you can register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lowering-rates-of-overweight-obesity-and-cancer-in-cheshire-merseyside-tickets-352845920647.