Millennials are facing a much higher risk of obesity-related cancers than baby boomers did at their age, according to a study published today by The Lancet Public Health.
As Axios reports, the study is significant because the steepest increases for obesity-related cancers were in the youngest age group (aged 25–34 years) and are a warning that steps need to be taken by this generation to get rid of excess body weight.
“The change in cancer trends among young adults is often considered as a bellwether for future disease burden,” says study author Hyuna Sung.
While scientists are not sure exactly how there is “quite convincing evidence” that excess body weight increases the risks of some cancers, says Sung, principal scientist of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.
However, for almost all (16 out of 18) of the non-obesity related cancers, except for gastric cancer and leukemia, cancers dropped or stabilized in successively younger generations—meaning the absolute risk of all cancers is lower for the youngest age groups. This included cancers related to HIV infections or smoking. Read the full story from Axios.