Analysis by Cancer Research UK has shown that millennials are set to be the largest generation on record as obesity figures continue to soar in the United Kingdom.
Those classed under the millennial umbrella are regarded as a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century. Data from the Health Survey for England suggests that almost half of 16-34 year olds are already regarded as overweight and obese, with that figure looking set to rise to 74% in the next decade if trends continue.
This generation are set to bypass the 54% of ‘baby boomers’ born post-war who were classed as overweight or obese by the time they were aged between 35 and 44.
Professor Russell Viner of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is concerned that such trends will continue to expand in future generations. He explained: “There is a danger that being overweight is becoming normalised, as we know that many people struggle to recognise obesity in themselves, and often are unable to see when their child is overweight.”
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention, believes that educating current and future generations could help cure the problem. “Being overweight is the UK’s biggest cause of cancer after smoking, but most people don’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.”
Further exploration by Cancer Research UK found that only 15% of the public were aware that carrying excess weight is linked to 13 different types of cancer.
Alison Cox added: “The government must play a part to help people make healthy food choices. We’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.”
However, TV adverts alone are not the only answer. Evolve members of staff have been travelling around the country delivering Healthy Heart talks in conjunction with Heart Research UK to educate future generations about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They also continue to campaign for health and wellbeing to become a recognised subject on the National Curriculum.
The correlation between health and wellbeing continues to grow with Public Health England statistics showing that the North East of the country is most affected by excess weight figures…as it is by the recent rise in pupil exclusion numbers. Could a poor diet be causing more behaviour problems?
Rotherham is currently home to 76.2% of adults classed as overweight or obese, whilst Boston tips the scales with 34% of adults in the obese category alone.