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Stark warning over obesity crisis

May 23, 2022

Almost three-quarters of the UK population will be overweight or obese by 2040 and at higher risk of 13 types of cancer, a new report has revealed.

Almost three-quarters of the UK population will be overweight or obese by 2040 and at higher risk of 13 types of cancer, a new report has revealed.

The study by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) estimates over 42 million people living in the UK will be overweight, with 21 million of them being classified as obese.

Perhaps even more alarming is the report’s suggestion that the number of people who are obese could overtake the number who are at a healthy weight as early as the late 2020s in England and late 2030s in Northern Ireland, with Scotland and Wales expected to share the grim accolade around 2040.

CRUK has described the findings as “staggering.”

Urging the government to take immediate action and introduce measures to help prevent a deeper obesity crisis, Michelle Mitchell, CRUK Chief Executive, 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.”

The stark warning comes as the government announced it was delaying plans to tackle unhealthy eating.

The U-turn means a proposed ban on buy-one-get-one-free deals for foods high in fat, salt and sugar, as well as TV adverts for junk food before 9 pm, have been put on hold for a year.

By 2040, the prevalence of severe obesity is expected to almost double across the UK, from 3 to 6 per cent.

Around 60 per cent of women are currently overweight or obese, but this is projected to rise to 67 per cent in the next 18 years. Meanwhile, it is expected that 74 per cent of men will be overweight or obese by 2040, up from 68 per cent now.

Related: New drug gives hope for obesity treatment

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