At least 79 million ready meals and 22 million fast-food/ takeaway meals are eaten weekly by adults. These are the latest figures revealed by a brand new report by Cancer Research UK.
The findings highlight the need for the food industry to to cut calories, sugar and fat in convenience food. Doing so will reduce the unhealthy effects of the UK’s “takeaway and ready meal culture”.
Based on a YouGov survey, the report found that 18-24 year-olds are likely to rely on convenience meals. The same age category are seven times more likely to indulge in fast food/ takeaways at least once a week. This figure comes in relation to over 65-year-olds.
Men were also found to be more likely to eat convenience food rather than make meals at home.
It was also estimated that adults in England consume an extra 200-300 calories every day. Regularly consuming high-calorie-content foods, such as fast food and ready meals, has been linked to weight gain and obesity.
According to the statistics, approximately 66% of adults in the North West are considered overweight or obese.
Following smoking, obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK. It has been linked to 13 types of cancer including bowl, breast and pancreatic.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer prevention, said: “These figures show that ‘grab and go’ foods and a growing appetite for takeaways and ready meals are helping to propel us towards an epidemic of larger waistlines and increased cancer risk.
“The whole food industry needs to step up and commit to working with government to cut the amount of fat and sugar in our food. This would make it that bit easier for all of us to become healthier and reduce our cancer risk”.
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