Speak to a registered nurse.
Call the Beating Bowel Cancer Helpline
(9-5:30 Mon - Thu, 9-4 Fri)

020 8973 0011

or email


The evidence that being overweight increases the risk of bowel cancer is stronger now than ever before. In fact, scientists believe that, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do for cancer prevention.

Obesity and a body mass index (BMI) ratio of 40 or more are strongly associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer. You can check your BMI here. A review of research into the links between bowel cancer and body fat has shown that carrying fat around your waist is particularly harmful.


It is very important to find a balance between diet and exercise that allows you to maintain a healthy weight. This will significantly reduce your risk of developing all cancers, including bowel cancer.


For more information on decreasing your risk of bowel cancer, we recommend the World Cancer Research Fund website.

Pair of female feet standing on the scale, closeup