Men who gain weight at critical age are more at risk of prostate cancer – here’s when you need to stay in shape

Research shows that gaining weight before 30 can increase your prostate cancer risk.

Swedish researchers discovered that men aged 17-29 who gained just 1kg per year had a 25% higher mortality rate from cancer.

Men who gain weight in their teens and 20s face a higher risk of prostate cancer, a study found (Pictured: Prostate cancer cells)


A study has found that men who gain weight during their teens or 20s are at a greater risk for prostate cancer. (Pictured below: cells of the prostate cancer)Alamy

Making sure you keep off the pounds in young adulthood could be “key” to avoiding the deadly illness, experts said.

Dr Marisa da Silva, of Lund University in Malmo, said: “Knowing more about the factors that cause prostate cancer is key to preventing it.

“The only well-established risk factors, such as increasing age, a family history of the disease and several genetic markers, are not modifiable.

“Preventing a steep increase in weight in young men is imperative for the prevention of prostate cancer.”

More than 12,000 men die each year from prostate cancer.

This study was presented in Dublin at the European Congress on Obesity. It tracked 258 477 men who had their weight measured three times or more between 17 and 60.

All were cancer-free from 1963 through 2014 when they were enrolled, but were checked in 2019 to determine if the disease had developed.

A total of 23,348 prostate cancer cases were reported, and 4,790 deaths.

The risk of developing and dying from the disease increases with weight gain prior to 30.

The researchers suggested that a hormone known as insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is more prevalent in obese individuals, may be the cause of this increased risk.

Katharine Jenner, of Obesity Health Alliance, said: “This new study shows the terrible impact that weight gain in early adulthood can have on men in later life.

“Research like this is key to preventing fatalities.

“Right now, like everyone else, young men are being bombarded 24/7 with a flood of junk food advertising & special offers at every turn.

“This Government must bring in planned restrictions on junk food advertising and promotions as a first step on the journey to making the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone.”

Simon Grieveson, of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Maintaining a healthy weight can protect against many cancers.

“But it is important to remember that prostate cancer can affect men of all weights, shapes, and sizes.

“Men over 50, black men, and men with a family history are at highest risk of the disease and should speak to their doctor if they have concerns.”

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