This finding holds future challenges for South Africa where 25% of girls and 5% of boys are estimate to be overweight or obese.

In the study, Danish researchers analysed the birth weight and body-mass index (BMI) ‘€“ a measurement of body fat based on height and weight ‘€“ of more than 325 000 people born between 1930 and 1989. Among this population, 252 developed a common form of adult liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma.    

The study authors calculated that at age 7, the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma increased by 12% for every one-point increase in BMI. By age 13, that risk increased to 25%. Therefore, as units of BMI increased into adulthood, so did the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. This was consistently similar across both genders and all ages.

“Childhood obesity not only leads to the development of many adverse metabolic conditions – such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease – but also fatty liver disease, which may subsequently result in liver cancer,” Dr Frank Lammert, a scientific committee member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver, said in an association news release.

“The importance of maintaining a healthy childhood BMI cannot be underestimated,” Lammert said in the release. “These alarming study results point to a potential correlation between childhood obesity and development of liver cancer in adulthood.”

Source: HealthDay News

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