Be a healthy weight

Graphic of body weight scales and a measuring tapeKeep your weight within the healthy range and avoid weight gain in later life.

This can help to protect against 13 types of cancer. Visit our cancer risk factors section to find out more.

How does obesity cause cancer?

Being obese can increase the chances of cancer cells developing in your body. Excess energy from food and drink is stored as body fat and this body fat increases hormones, inflammation and growth factors. These cause cells in our body to divide more often. This cell division increases the risk of cancer cells being made.

Being obese doesn’t mean you will develop cancer – it does increase your risk, compared with if you were able to maintain a healthy weight.

Living with obesity infographic

Weight loss tips

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be accomplished by following these four simple steps. Losing just a few pounds, if you’re overweight, can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Take action today and experience the positive benefits.

1. Reshape your plate

Feel fuller on fewer calories by swapping high-calorie processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, crisps and fast foods like pizza, chip and burgers, for fibre-rich wholegrains, vegetables, pulses and fruit.

> Read about high-calorie foods and cancer prevention
> Healthy recipe ideas

2. Keep an eye on portion sizes

Too much of almost any food can cause you to gain weight. So only eat when you’re hungry and opt for smaller serving sizes to make it easier to control how much you’re eating.

3. Read food labels

Food labels include lots of useful information to help us make healthier choices. Use the front-of-pack traffic light label to see, at a glance, if a food is high, medium or low in fat, sugar and salt. You can also use food labels to compare calorie content and see how many servings are in a pack.

> Our food labelling guide

4. Be more active

Cutting down on screen time (time spent doing sedentary activities like watching television or using a computer) and keeping active can help you to maintain a healthy weight.

> Why not sign up for a running event to help keep you motivated?
> Exercise tips