More than seven in 10 millennials (those born between the early 1980s and mid 1990s) are set to be overweight or obese between the ages of 35-44, according to estimates by Cancer Research UK.
Millennials are set to overtake baby boomers as the age group with the highest proportion of overweight or obese – as figures show five in 10 baby boomers (those born between 1945-1955) were overweight or obese at the same age as today’s millennials.
These predictions suggest millennials are to be the most overweight generation since current records began.
According to Cancer Research UK, being overweight or obese as an adult can increase an individual’s risk of 13 different types of cancer, including breast, bowel and kidney cancer, but the vast majority of people (85%) are unaware of this.
Dr Tom Beattie, Health Information Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“That these figures suggest millennials could become the most obese generation is worrying, as we know that being overweight or obese after the menopause can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The more weight a woman gains over her adult life, the higher her risk of breast cancer, so it is important that we support women to maintain a healthy weight throughout their life.
“The good news is that it’s not too late to change this predicted trend, and there are steps that all women can take to keep their weight within a healthy range. Eating a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and limited in sugary and fatty processed foods, and keeping physically active, can all help women keep their breast cancer risk as low as possible.
“In addition, eating a balanced diet and being physically active can contribute to good health in other ways, such as lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other forms of cancer. We’d encourage anyone who is worried about their weight or their breast cancer risk to speak to their GP.”