It might seem as though the world is a more health-conscious place than it was twenty years ago, but apparently that isn’t the case. According to a shocking new study and report from CNN, obesity-fueled cancers are on the rise — and the trend is disturbing prevalent with millennials.
The American Cancer Society analyzed data published between 1995 and 2014 on 12 obesity related cancers as well as 18 common cancers not associated with weight. They noticed that cancers influenced by weight — most specifically colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow—were increasing for those aged 24 to 49. The most significant increases were found in the millennial age bracket.
What is furthermore disturbing, is that the risk for many of these cancers was double for millennials than the rate of previous generations, such as baby boomers, at the same age.
"The risk of cancer is increasing in young adults for half of the obesity-related cancers, with the increase steeper in progressively younger ages," co-author of the study, Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of the Surveillance and Health Services Research Program for the American Cancer Society, explained.
He added that the findings of the study should be considered “a warning for increased burden of obesity-related cancer in older adults in the future, potentially halting or reversing the progress achieved in reducing cancer mortality over the past several decades."
So yeah, obesity is definitely a global epidemic, according to the World Health Organization. The group estimates than over one billion adults are overweight, and at least 300 million of those considered clinically obese.
As parents, it is important that we take this information and use it as motivation to teach our children about the importance of health and nutrition. Most dietary habits start in our younger years, meaning what you are teaching your kids about food and eating will likely shape their future. While you definitely shouldn’t “fat-shame” your children, you should definitely encourage them to maintain a healthy body weight, explaining what sort of impact weight can have on their overall health when they get older.