Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Public awareness and healthcare professional advice for obesity as a risk factor for cancer in the UK: a cross-sectional survey
Author(s): Hooper, Lucie
Anderson, Annie S
Birch, Jack
Forster, Alice S
Rosenberg, Gillian
Bauld, Linda
Vohra, Jyotsna
Keywords: obesity
socioeconomic factors
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2018
Citation: Hooper L, Anderson AS, Birch J, Forster AS, Rosenberg G, Bauld L & Vohra J (2018) Public awareness and healthcare professional advice for obesity as a risk factor for cancer in the UK: a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Public Health, 40 (4), pp. 797-805.
Abstract: Background Overweight and obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, causing ~3.4 million deaths worldwide. This study provides current UK 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. Socioeconomic 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-utilized in healthcare settings.
DOI Link: 10.1093/pubmed/fdx145
Rights: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
fdx145.pdfFulltext - Published Version183.76 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.