Researchers have, in a new study, found that men who were obese at the age of 16-20 were more likely to develop diseases in their 50s. Studies done in the past have shown that obesity in adults leads to an increase in risk of bowel cancer, but there had been little research done by whether the weight is a risk in adolescents. The scientists from Harvard University and from Sweden investigated a large group of young Swedish men who had been conscripted into military service between the ages of 16-20 to see if their BMI in youth was in any way related to their likelihood of developing bowel cancer after 35 years.
The 240, 000 recruits had been through height and weight checks when they had joined, along with a test called ESR, which was capable of assessing the level of body’s inflammation and showing whether one is predisposed to have certain diseases or not.
During conscription, close to 12 percent of men were seen to be underweight and close to 81 percent were of normal weight. 5 percent of the people were moderately overweight, 1 percent was obese and 1.5 percent was very overweight.
The findings of the study showed that over the average 35 years of follow-up, 885 of the participants developed bowel cancer and 384 of them had rectal cancers. It was observed that those people who were very overweight with BMIs ranging between 27.5 and 30 and were twice likely to develop bowel cancer.
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