Work area: Obesity

One of our key work areas in the Global Cancer Update Programme is obesity.

Aims: more precise understanding of the risk factors for obesity across the lifecourse.

The importance of overweight and obesity in driving cancer risk was highlighted in previous CUP work and our cancer prevention recommendation includes a recommendation to maintain a healthy weight. However, it hasn’t been possible to provide more detailed guidance, for example on the best options for a healthy diet and physical activity pattern across the life course to support:

  • healthy growth during childhood
  • maintenance of a healthy weight during adulthood
  • avoidance of excess weight gain throughout life.

The work in this area comprises:

1. Systematic scanning of the literature: to ensure that the existing Energy Balance and Body Fatness Report and Panel conclusions remain up to date and are based on the latest evidence. The scanning exercise will cover dietary, nutrition and physical activity exposures across the lifecourse and examine how these impact body weight.

This will also be used to indicate when there is enough evidence to warrant an updated systematic review of primary studies. This work will be carried out internally within WCRF International.

2. Expansion of the work into novel areas: by commissioning new rapid systematic reviews of primary studies examining, for example, dietary and lifestyle patterns on weight outcomes across the life course.

We will also explore other research directions this work area could take in order to increase impact.

Benefits of approach

  • Strengthened underpinning of our cancer prevention recommendations which are related to energy balance
  • Improved research methods- eg further development of optimal methodology to evaluate the evidence for supporting exposure and cancer links as they relate to obesity

CUP Global timeline graphic

> Find out more about the Obesity expert committee

> Read an overview of the Global Cancer Update Programme

> Find out more about the CUP Global Strategy