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Article in Journal

Public awareness and healthcare professional advice for obesity as a risk factor for cancer in the UK: a cross-sectional survey (Forthcoming)

Citation
Hooper L, Anderson AS, Birch J, Forster AS, Rosenberg G, Bauld L & Vohra J (2017) Public awareness and healthcare professional advice for obesity as a risk factor for cancer in the UK: a cross-sectional survey (Forthcoming), Journal of Public Health.

Abstract
Background 

Overweight and obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, causing approximately 3.4 million deaths worldwide. This study provides current United Kingdom data on awareness of the link between obesity and cancer by socio-demographic factors, including BMI, and explores to what degree healthcare professionals provide weight management advice to patients. 
Methods 
Cross-sectional survey of 3293 adults completed an online survey in February/March 2016, weighted to be representative of the UK population aged 18+. 
Results 
Public awareness of the link between obesity and cancer is low (25.4% unprompted and 57.5% prompted). Higher levels of awareness existed for least deprived groups (p<0.001), compared to more deprived groups. Most respondents had seen a healthcare practitioner in the past 12 months (91.6%) and 17.4% had received advice about their weight, although 48.4% of the sample were overweight/obese. 
Conclusion 
Cancer is not at the forefront of people’s minds when considering health conditions associated with overweight or obesity. Socio-economic disparities exist in health knowledge across the UK population, with adults from more affluent groups being most aware. Healthcare professionals are uniquely positioned to provide advice about weight, but opportunities for intervention are currently under-utilised in healthcare settings.

Keywords
obesity; cancer; socioeconomic factors

StatusAccepted
AuthorsHooper Lucie, Anderson Annie S, Birch Jack, Forster Alice S, Rosenberg Gillian, Bauld Linda, Vohra Jyotsna
Date accepted by journal09/10/2017
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN 1741-3842
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Journal of Public Health

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