New campaign to increase awareness of obesity and cancer link
More than seven in 10 millennials â€“ those born between the early 80s and mid 90s â€“ are set to be overweight or obese between the ages of 35-44, according to estimates by Cancer Research UK.
This compares to around five in 10 baby boomers â€“ those born between 1945-55 â€“ who were overweight or obese at the same age.Â
Being overweight or obese as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer including breast, bowel and kidney cancer, but only 15% of people in the UK are aware of the link.
Cancer Research UK hasÂ launchedÂ a UK-wide campaign to increase awareness thatÂ obesity is a cause of cancer.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UKâ€™s director of prevention, said: â€œBeing overweight is the UKâ€™s biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, but most people donâ€™t know about this substantial risk. If more people become aware of the link it may help spare not just millennials, but all generations from cancer.
â€œThe government must play a partÂ to help people make healthy food choices. Weâ€™re campaigning for a ban on junk food adverts before the 9pm watershed to protect young people from advertising tactics which all too often promote fattening foods.â€
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UKâ€™s prevention expert, added: â€œExtra body fat doesnâ€™t just sit there; it sends messages around the body that can cause damage to cells. This damage can build up over time and increase the risk of cancer in the same way that damage from smoking causes cancer.
â€œWhile 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 wholegrains, and cutting down on junk food is the best way to keep a healthy weight.â€
Cancer Research UKâ€™s campaign will launch across the UK on posters, radio, social and digital media.
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