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Still, not all experts said obesity would produce skyrocketing cancer rates in the near future.
"It is not likely (obesity) will have as severe an effect as smoking," said Jan Coebergh, a professor of cancer surveillance at Erasmus University, who has done similar research. Coebergh expected it would take a few decades before rounder Europeans would see a parallel rise in cancer, since the disease often takes years to develop.
Still, scientists called for more measures to fight obesity and the cancers it might cause.
Renehan said new strategies were needed to help people stay slim. "We need to find the biological mechanism to help people find other ways of tackling obesity," he said. "Just telling the population to lose weight obviously hasn't worked."
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