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Obese could become the new normal

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

The report, from Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum, predicts that three in four adults will be overweight or obese by 2035, with more people obese than overweight by 2030.

The report estimates that rising rates of obesity and being overweight in the UK could lead not only to 700,000 new cancer cases, but also 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.

However, the study shows that small changes can have dramatic impacts. Just a one per cent shift in the number of people going from the overweight or obese category to the healthy weight category every year could prevent more than 64,000 cancer cases over the next 20 years and save the NHS £300 million in 2035 alone. With one in 6 meals eaten outside of the home, the findings increase the pressure on the food service sector to ensure we are playing our part in providing healthy choices.