People who are obese may be more likely to need bowel cancer treatment in the future, researchers have claimed.
A study by experts at the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia, found that people with a body mass index (BMI) in excess of 30 were more likely to develop bowel cancer than people whose weight was normal.
The study, which looked at more than 70,000 patients, concluded that obese people had a 20 per cent increased risk of bowel cancer, with men being particularly at risk of the disease.
Researchers warn that even a few kilos in excess of desirable weight can put a person at risk, as the likelihood of developing bowel cancer increased by seven per cent for every 5kg of weight gain.
Dr Rachel Huxley, one of the authors of the study report in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, noted: "Currently, around 300 million people across the world are obese. This figure is expected to rise up toward 700 million by 2015.
"Considering that obesity increases the threat of colorectal cancer by 20 per cent, this means that 10,000 cases each year are due to severe excess weight."