25 May

New report suggests over 40 million adults will be overweight by 2040

A new report compiled by Cancer Research UK suggests that over 40 million adults in the UK will be overweight by 2040.

Research indicates that around 70% of people will be overweight by 2040 based on current trends. Of the 42 million people classed as overweight, 21 million will be obese.

The report states that the number of people who are obese could overtake the number who are a healthy weight in the next 20 years. This alarming milestone could be reached as early as the late 2020s in England. Estimates suggest that numbers will reach a ‘tipping point’ in the 2030s in Northern Ireland and in 2040 in Wales and Scotland.

The report also highlights differences between deprived and more affluent areas. In the most deprived parts of the country, just over a third of people were obese in 2019. This figure is expected to rise to 46% by 2040. In the least deprived areas, figures are expected to increase from 22% in 2019 to 25% in 2040.

Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell, said that the report shows “a stark and growing difference between obesity rates in those that are most and least well off.” She added that the white paper, Health Disparities, which is coming soon, represents an important opportunity to close gaps and ensure that fewer people are diagnosed with cancer. Obesity is currently the “second biggest preventable risk factor for cancer in the UK.”

Cancer Research UK statistics suggest that almost 23,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK each year are linked to being obese or overweight.