Obesity could cause around 700,000 new UK cancers by 2035

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Obesity could cause around 700,000 new UK cancers by 2035

Almost 700,000 new cases of cancer linked to being overweight or obese could be diagnosed in the UK during the next 20 years, a report has warned.

The research from Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum also predicted almost three in four adults will be overweight or obese by 2035

And the research also revealed that more people will be obese than overweight by 2030.

The report estimated that rising rates of obesity and being overweight in the UK could also lead to millions of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke.

This would cost the NHS an additional £2.5 billion a year by 2035 over and above what is already spent on obesity related disease.

Obesity affects the poorest in society most, with almost half of women - 49%- from the lowest income bracket predicted to be obese by 2035.

And overweight children are more likely to develop into obese adults, increasing the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Cancer Research UK is calling on the Government to introduce a 9pm watershed ban on TV advertising of junk food as well as a 20p per litre tax on sugary drinks.

Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK, said: "Obesity will be a huge burden to society and the NHS in the near future. We must act now to combat this threat and we need the Government to restrict the marketing of sugary food to children."

Paul Lincoln, chief executive officer at the UK Health Forum, said: "This report makes a very clear economic case for why we must act now to turn the rising tide of obesity." 

PMI view

Dr Keith Klintworth, deputy CEO of VitalityHealth said "Healthy eating is something that is easy to pay lip service to, but with obesity now one of the most dangerous health issues to affect our nation, today's frightening findings must act as a wakeup call to everyone about its extensive impact.

"When combined with factors such as smoking and a lack of physical exercise, the levels of obesity in this country look set to head in only one direction.

"Promoting an understanding of nutrition will help encourage healthy eating and, alongside physical activity, can help people to more easily maintain their ideal body weight.

"This is not a revolution of the way people eat and exercise, but small lifestyle changes which could benefit individuals and society as a whole, and potentially ease the pressure on the NHS."

Further reading

Number of people with diabetes reaches over 4 million

Over a third of UK adults struggling with healthy lifestyles

Obesity: The challenges for life insurance

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