Body fatness, commonly approximated as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25.0 kg/m2 or higher, is the second largest preventable cause of cancer. In ABACus 2 we will use new methodologies to determine individual obese-year metrics. This methodology is comparable to pack-years in relation to tobacco smoking. By accounting for both intensity and duration using the obese-year metric, ABACus 2 will quantify the exposure to body fatness throughout an individual’s life course – one example being cumulative exposure, another being to consider the exposure at different points in the life course.
More specific quantification of the exposure to body fatness and understanding of critical age periods, where the body fatness associated cancer risk is stronger, will better inform of underlying mechanisms associated with the body fatness-cancer link. The ABACus 2 project is fundamental to optimise personalised prevention strategies, establish changes in public health policy and enable translation to clinical practice.