Weight, dietary behavior, and physical activity in childhood and adolescence: implications for adult cancer risk.


Journal Article (Review)

Lifestyle factors related to energy balance, including weight, dietary behavior and physical activity, are associated with cancer risk. The period of childhood and growth into adolescence and early adulthood may re-present a 'cumulative risk' for later adult-onset cancers. We review a number of epidemiologic studies that have examined associations among childhood and adolescent body size, diet, and physical activity with adult cancer risk. These studies suggest that unhealthy behaviors that develop early in life and persist over time may increase the risk of some cancer types, such as premenopausal breast, ovarian, endometrial, colon and renal cancer, adversely affect cancer-related morbidities, and increase mortality. Continued research is needed to further determine and refine how timing and degree of such exposures in early childhood and adolescence relate to adult cancer risk. Presently, sufficient evidence suggests a continued need for stronger primary prevention in cancer and obesity research via modified lifestyle behaviors earlier in the developmental spectrum, i.e. during childhood and adolescence.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Fuemmeler, BF; Pendzich, MK; Tercyak, KP

Published Date

  • 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 179 - 186

PubMed ID

  • 20054223

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20054223

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1662-4025

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1159/000220605


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland