Last month, comedian Sofie Hagen stirred up a Twitter row with Cancer Research UK over whether it’s harmful to say obesity is linked to cancer.  

Cancer Research UK was quick to fire back. 

Hagen argued back with the research pioneers and informed them that: “There are many people who have tweeted me their articles about it, try reading those. There is no excuse for you to have this campaign up. 

Society viewing fatness as a negative thing is a thing that kills more than the cancer that you MIGHT get due to MAYBE something to do with you POSSIBLY weighing MORE than a CERTAIN weight POSSIBLY MAYBE.” 

She then directed them to an article written by the Nopebook, which triggered this Twitter user to jump to the defence of Cancer Research. 

As you can see from the number of likes on different posts, the public very much disagreed with Hagen. 

Public health information can’t be censored just because it hurts somebody’s feelings. Pointing out that being overweight increases your risk of developing certain types and cancer and illnesses is not discrimination. 

These scientists don’t say that obesity is unhealthy for no reason. This advert from Cancer Research is based on extensive research. Sofie Hagen’s argument against it is based on emotion.  

Pressuring people to be thin or look a certain way to fit in with the societal norm is bad, but Cancer Research couldn’t care less about your appearance, as long as your lifestyle doesn’t increase your likelihood of getting cancer. To attack an organisation that does so much good as Cancer Research for tackling an issue without sugar coating it, you have to be exceedingly arrogant or delusional.  

As this debate put even more distance between fat acceptance bloggers and the general public, more activists joined the conversation. Plus sized blogger Amanda Elliott wrote an article explaining the harm of this advert. In it, she argued that there is no concrete evidence to suggest that obesity causes cancer.  

“What if fatness isn’t a cause of cancer? Those who have studied science, statistics, or psychology will know that correlation does not imply causation. In other words, just because two things appear to be linked, does not mean that they are related to one another in a meaningful way.” 

Elliott argues that the reason obese people get more cancer is because they are less likely to be diagnosed early or at all because of mistreatment by GPs: 

“Fat people are less likely to be diagnosed and treated for cancer because of a medical industry that both shames us and fails us.” 

Anyone who has sat through a year 7 biology class knows that having excess fat stored in the body puts strain on organs which can cause them to fail. Excess fat clogs the arteries, forcing the heart to have to work harder to pump blood around the body which can cause the heart to cramp which results in a heart attack. Being overweight causes joint pain which can lead to other health problems. Obesity is a cause of cancer. It’s not in bad taste to say this, it’s merely a fact based on the latest scientific research and evidence. To deny this would be like an alcoholic claiming there is no link between alcoholism and liver failure, or for a smoker to argue there’s no link between smoking and lung cancer.  

It is widely accepted by obese, overweight and ‘healthy weight’ people that being obese carries health risks. Cancer Research UK should not have to withhold research and the latest scientific findings from the public just because the truth hurts.