This December, the Canadian Cancer Society released its list of top research stories of 2013. Research by Dr. Carolyn Gotay and the Cancer Prevention Centre team earlier this year on mapping the obesity problem in Canada was one of 15 stories highlighted. The list represents some of the most high-impact cancer research contributions in Canada.
Despite growing concern about Canadians’ waistlines, it had been over a decade since maps showing obesity rates in the country were published. Dr. Gotay updated the maps, showing that obesity rates have climbed in the last 11 years, providing the evidence needed to promote action from the public, healthcare providers, and decision-makers to improve the health of Canadians. It is estimated that diet, obesity, and lack of exercise are responsible for about one-third of all cancers.
Other research that made the list includes the development of assessment tools on carcinogenic substances in the workplace to help prevent lung cancer; a survey of tobacco preference amongst high school students, which led to the introduction of legislation in Ontario to prevent the sale of candy-flavoured tobacco products; and an improvement in positron emission tomography scanning making it faster and more accurate at detecting cancers.