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Cancer Research predicts over 21m UK adults will be obese by 2040

25th May 2022 - 07:00
Cancer Research UK analysis has predicted that more than 21 million UK adults will be obese by 2040, which equates to almost 36% of the UK adult population.

The report also indicates that the number of people who are obese could overtake the number who are a healthy weight in the UK by 2040.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “These projections should serve as a wake-up call to the Government about the state of our nation’s health. Ministers mustn’t keep kicking the can down the road when it comes to tackling the obesity crisis – delaying measures that will lead to healthier food options. I urge them to revisit this decision and take bold action on obesity, the second biggest preventable risk factor for cancer in the UK.”

In England during 2019, 35% of people living in the most deprived areas were obese, and this is estimated to increase to almost half (46%) by 2040. In comparison, 22% of people living in the least deprived areas were obese in 2019 and this is estimated to increase to 25%. According to Cancer Research UK obesity increases the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer and these projections are a warning to the Government.

Dr Julie Sharp, head of health and patient information at Cancer Research UK, added: “Obesity is a complex issue and the world around us can make it very difficult to keep a healthy weight. Government action is key in making sure that the healthy option is readily available and affordable for people and addressing the wider barriers that prevent people from living healthy lives. If these staggering trends continue, obesity will eclipse smoking as the biggest cause of cancer.”

The Government revealed that restrictions on high fat sugar or salt (HFSS) multibuy deals and advertising will be delayed in light of the ‘unprecedented global economic situation’ in order to give the industry more time to prepare.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson for making a U-Turn on the junk food advertising ban. Oliver held an Eton Mess demonstration at Ten Downing Street in protest of the U-Turn on Friday 20 May 2022. According to Oliver the dessert Eton Mess symbolised “the privilege and mess that is our British Government and its inability to do the right thing.”

Written by
Edward Waddell