Gastrointestinal cancer and obesity

The global obesity epidemic has well-known detrimental implications on future disease burden and public health. Compelling evidence now shows that excess body weight is also associated with an increased risk of developing a number of cancers, most of which are in the gastrointestinal system.

This Collection of articles accompanies a special Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology Focus issue on gastrointestinal cancer and obesity, and includes Review and Comment articles from researchers and clinicians at the forefront of this field. These articles summarize new knowledge in the epidemiology of obesity and gastrointestinal cancer, and the potential mechanisms underlying these associations involving gut microbiota-mediated inflammation, energy balance and interactions between the tumour microenvironment and visceral obesity. They also highlight key unanswered questions, future research directions and initiatives that aim to address the problem of obesity and cancer. As public and scientific interest in this topic is growing, this Collection provides a timely resource for all those involved in this fast-moving field.