Charity Accused of ‘Body Shaming’ for Highlighting Link Between Obesity and Cancer

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By Kieran Corcoran | 7:06 am, May 4, 2017

Fat activists have accused a cancer charity of “body shaming” – because it tried to raise awareness of the link between cancer and obesity.

Cancer Research UK was accused of being “violent” towards fat people with its ad campaign aimed at encouraging people to be healthier.

The accusations were prompted by a poster on the London Underground, which went viral after pictures were posted to Twitter.

The poster asked passengers to “Guess what is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking” – accompanied by a hangman-style word puzzle which leads to the answer “obesity”.

One activist complained to the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, demanding that he take the message down.

The woman, who tweets under the username @DianaSaladPot, claimed the message contradicted a faintly ridiculous pledge by the mayor to ban “body shaming” adverts on London’s transport network.

The message, posted last month, lay dormant for weeks, but started to go viral yesterday.

Cancer Research UK’s campaign is well-supported by medical evidence, and cites studies from major journals, the World Health Organization, and public health statistics.

It lists bowel, womb, pancreatic, kidney, liver, ovarian and thyroid among the types of cancer made more likely by excessive weight gain.

In a statement to Heat Street, a Cancer Research UK spokesman said: “Research shows that obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking in the UK.

“While most people know about the link between cancer and smoking, only a quarter know that obesity causes cancer – even though the scientific evidence is as compelling as it is for smoking.”