The number of men and women under the age of 45 who are morbidly obese has doubled in the last ten years, it has been revealed.
A study conducted by Cancer Research found that the proportion of men classified as obese rose from 13.4 per cent to 22.7 per cent over the period, while the level of obese women increased from 15.8 per cent to 22.4 per cent.
This is particularly worrying given that recent research shows 12,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year if people were not classed as overweight.
"This research adds to the evidence that the UK is in the grip of an obesity epidemic," Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK told the Telegraph.
"We know that high body weight increases the risk of a number of cancers and it is important we get this message to as many people as possible.
"A healthy diet with plenty of fibre, fruit and vegetables as well as regular exercise can help people to lose weight and reduce their risk of cancer."
People classed as being overweight are at greater risk of developing cancers including breast, womb and prostate.