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Research & Evidence: Nutrition & Healthy Weight

This study highlights the potential cost savings from preventing weight gain and bringing about weight loss in an employed population.
The Impact of Weight Gain or Loss on Health Care Costs for Employees at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
Smith Carls,Ginger, PhD, Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Rachel Mosher Henke, PhD, Jennifer Bruno, BS, Fikry Isaac, MD, and Janice McHugh, DBA, RN, COHN-S
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

2019

Sung, Hyuna; Rebecca L Siegel, Philip S Rosenberg, Ahmedin Jemal. "Emerging cancer trends among young adults in the USA: analysis of a population-based cancer registry." Lancet Public Health, February 4, 2019.

Background: Cancer trends in young adults, often under 50 years, reflect recent changes in carcinogenic exposures, which could foreshadow the future overall disease burden. Previous studies reported an increase in early onset colorectal cancer, which could partly reflect the obesity epidemic. We examined age-specific contemporary incidence trends in the USA for 30 common cancers, including 12 obesity-related cancers.

Interpretation: The risk of developing an obesity-related cancer seems to be increasing in a stepwise manner in successively younger birth cohorts in the USA. Further studies are needed to elucidate exposures responsible for these emerging trends, including excess bodyweight and other risk factors.

2018

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. "Incorporating weight management and physical activity throughout the cancer care continuum: Proceedings of a workshop." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press., 2018.

The National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a public workshop, Incorporating Weight Management and Physical Activity Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum, on February 13 and 14, 2017, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this workshop was to highlight the current evidence base, gaps in knowledge, and research needs on the associations among obesity, physical activity, weight management, and health outcomes for cancer survivors, as well as to examine the effectiveness of interventions for promoting physical activity and weight management among people living with or beyond cancer. Workshop sessions also reviewed the opportunities and challenges for providing weight management and physical activity interventions to cancer survivors. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

2017

Greta M. Massetti, PhD; William H. Dietz, MD, PhD; Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH. "Excessive Weight Gain, Obesity, and Cancer." JAMA, October 3, 2017.

Even though the effects of overweight and obesity on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and other health outcomes are widely known, there is less awareness that overweight, obesity, and weight gain are associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. A recent review of more than 1000 studies concluded that sufficient evidence existed to link weight gain, overweight, and obesity with 13 cancers, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; cancers of the gastric cardia, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, corpus uteri, ovary, kidney, and thyroid; postmenopausal female breast cancer; meningioma; and multiple myeloma.

2016

Azvolinsky, Anna . "Unraveling How Obesity Fuels Cancer." Oxford Academic, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 2, 2016.

“We are getting more and more precise about the different risk factors for the various subtypes of cancer,” said Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor in the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One established factor is obesity, now well linked to at least ten cancers, including pancreatic, colorectal, endometrial, and hormone receptor–positive, postmenopausal breast cancer. 

2013

Lankford, Tina; Jason Lang, Brian Bowden, and William Baun. "Workplace Health: Engaging Business Leaders to Combat Obesity." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, December 1, 2013.

Recognizing the adverse impact of obesity on employee productivity and health, many businesses have invested resources in worksite strategies to increase physical activity and improve the diets of their employees. Employers play a pivotal role in creating health-supportive environments for their employees as well as the community at large. Employers that contribute to a healthier workforce have the potential to reduce their out-of-pocket health care costs and improve productivity within their workforce. Further, through community engagement, employers can foster the improved health and stability of their future workforce

2012

Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can play a prominent role in the incidence and progression of various cancers.

2011

Smith Carls,Ginger, PhD, Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Rachel Mosher Henke, PhD, Jennifer Bruno, BS, Fikry Isaac, MD, and Janice McHugh, DBA, RN, COHN-S. "The Impact of Weight Gain or Loss on Health Care Costs for Employees at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2011.

Objective: To quantify the impact of weight gain or weight loss on health care costs.

Conclusions: Preventing weight gain through effective employee health promotion programs is likely to result in cost savings for employers.