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Millennials most overweight generation since records began

Thursday 1st March 2018
People born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s are more likely to be obese by middle age than any other generation, new figures show. Image: Staras via iStock
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Millennials are significantly more likely than baby boomers to be classed as obese by the time they reach middle age, according to a new report.

Cancer Research UK has published new figures that show seven in ten members of the younger generation are set to be obese when they are between 35 and 44 years of age, in comparison to five in ten of those born between 1945 and 1955, unless they take action to change their lifestyle habits now.

As a result, this means that millennials (anyone born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s) are the most overweight generation since records began taking this metric into account.

What's more, this puts members of the millennial generation at increased risk of developing 13 different types of cancer, including kidney cancer, bowel cancer and breast cancer.

However, research has found that just 15 per cent of people in the UK are actually aware of the link between obesity and increased cancer risk, indicating that many people may be putting their health at serious risk without even realising. In fact, after smoking, obesity is the biggest factor behind avoidable cases of cancer.

Professor Linda Bauld, prevention expert at Cancer Research UK, commented: "While these estimates sound bleak, we can stop them becoming a reality.

"Millennials are known for following seemingly healthy food trends, but nothing beats a balanced diet. Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and other fibre-filled foods like whole grains and cutting down on junk food is the best way to keep a healthy weight."

It's not just consumers themselves who need to be making changes though, as the charity is calling on the food industry to reassess its marketing tactics to stop encouraging people to over-indulge.

In addition, Cancer Research UK is calling for a ban on junk foods adverts before the watershed to help lower the risk of more younger people becoming obese in the future.

Written by Martin Lambert

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