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Overeating Increases Risk of Gastrointestinal Tract Tumors, Study Finds

According to a recent study, those overeating or with unrestricted eating habits have a higher risk of gastrointestinal (GI) tract tumors.

Overeating Increases Risk of Gastrointestinal Tract Tumors, Study Finds
Image: Two Women Overeating | InStyleHealth

For 18 years, the researchers monitored cancer-free Nurses' Health Study participants who reported dietary information in 1994. Using Cox regression models, they calculated the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) for overeating (eating whatever you want, whenever you want) and the risk of digestive system malignancies.

In studies of eating anything at any moment throughout follow-up, a total of 2,064 instances of digestive system cancer were found among 70,450 eligible subjects. There were 2,081 cancer cases among 72,468 individuals in analyses of no concern with figure change.

Women who ate anything at any time had a higher risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR, 1.22, 95 percent CI, 1.10–1.35), overall GI tract cancer (HR, 1.33, 95 percent CI, 1.18–1.50), buccal cavity and pharynx cancer (HR, 1.50, 95 percent CI, 1.02–2.21), esophageal cancer (HR, 1.62, 95 percent CI, 1.01–2.62), small intestine cancer.

There was no statistically significant link between pancreatic cancer and liver or gallbladder cancer. Furthermore, when compared to those who exhibited the opposite behavior, the combined effect of eating anything at any time and having no concern about weight change was associated with a significantly increased risk of overall digestive system cancer (HR, 1.27, 95 percent CI, 1.10–1.46), overall GI tract cancer (HR, 1.45, 95 percent CI, 1.23–1.71), and colorectal cancer (HR, 1.34, 95 percent CI, 1.11–1.63).

"It's worth noting the possible impact of unrestricted eating behavior adjustment in preventing gastrointestinal tract malignancies," the researchers said.


Sources: Am J Clin Nutr 2021;114:1612-1624

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