RCPCH responds to new research linking childhood weight and height to renal cancer

At the European Congress on Obesity, which is being held in Glasgow this week, research will be presented about the associations between childhood body size and the risk of renal cancer. Dr Max Davie, RCPCH Officer for Health Improvement, responds.

The research presented in the abstract, Associations between childhood body size and risk of renal cell carcinoma in adulthood, finds that being overweight as an adult is positively associated with renal cell carcinoma; however, factors early in life may also affect susceptibility. The results suggest that heavier and taller children have increased risks, opening up new areas of exploration for understanding the causes of this cancer form.

In response to the abstract  Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

We already know that children who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of developing a number of serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and, as this study further highlights, cancer.

As this research is in its early stages, we cannot make any strong observations. However, we know overweight or obese children are much more likely to be overweight or obese adults, so preventing children from becoming overweight in the first place will be essential if we are to stop future generations suffering from these life changing conditions. The Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, if delivered in full, will help do this, but this will be too late for some children. We need services available for children now who are struggling with their weight now and I urgently call upon the Government to provide them.