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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to report the level and trends of 13 cancers that are attributable to excess body weight (EBW) for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. METHODS: Using publicly available data, the burden of cancers attributable to EBW was reported from 1990 to 2019 based on the comparative risk assessment approach used in the Global Burden of Disease study 2019. [Correction added on 27 January 2022, after first online publication: 'Using publicly available data,' has been added before the first sentence and 'estimated' was corrected to 'reported'.] RESULTS: In 2019, EBW caused 11.2 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), or 4.4% of all cancer-related DALYs. Between 1990 and 2019, the global EBW-attributable age-standardized cancer DALY rates (per 100,000) increased from 109.9 to 133.9, a relative increase of 21.9%. The age-standardized DALY rates (per 100,000) of cancers attributable to EBW in 2019 were highest and lowest in Mongolia (611.8) and Bangladesh (30.2), respectively. The 60- to 64-year age group had the highest number of DALYs attributable to EBW, whereas there were no large sex differences in the cancer-related burden attributable to EBW. Furthermore, the association between the age-standardized DALY rates and the sociodemographic index was generally positive. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the EBW-attributable burden of cancers has increased in the past three decades. Public health efforts should focus on identifying appropriate preventive interventions at the population and individual levels, especially in the regions and countries with the highest burden.

Original publication




Journal article


Obesity (silver spring)

Publication Date





535 - 545