The report of the World Cancer Research Fund is the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the role that food, drink, obesity and exercise play in causing cancer.
Looking at the link between lifestyle and cancer, scientists found evidences that people who weigh too much are likely to face the risk of developing several types of cancer, reported the online edition of BBC News.
People with a Body Mass Index (BMI), a calculation that takes into account height and weight, of between 18.5 and 25 are deemed to be within a healthy weight range, the report said.
Their risk however increases as they head towards the 25 BMI mark and everyone should try to be as close to the lower end as possible, it suggests.
Even people who are not overweight should slim down if they want to cut down their risk of cancer. The ideal way to avoid being overweight is by not drinking sugary drinks and alcohol, and limiting the consumption of processed meats such as bacon or ham, the report said.
Cancers of the colon and breast are some of the most common forms of the disease and the report said there is "convincing" evidence that body fat plays a key role in the development of these tumours.
The report is also the first to urge breastfeeding as a means of protecting against cancer, arguing that it may reduce breast cancer in the mother and prevent obesity in the child -- although this has not been proven.