'Rates of obesity-fuelled cancers are now rising in successively younger age groups, a landmark study shows.
Experts said "shocking" levels of disease linked to growing waistlines across the globe threaten to reverse decades of progress in the war on cancer.
The Lancet study shows that rates of obesity-related cancers are rising faster in adults aged 25 to 49 than in older generations - despite the fact cancer is seen as a disease of old age.
The research, which examined 12 types of cancer linked to obesity, divided patients into five-year age groups from 25-29 to 80-84 years old.
In six of the main cancers - including bowel, pancreatic and kidney disease - it was found that the younger the age group, the greater the increase in incidence.
The major research used data covering more than half the population of the United States.
But British experts warned that trends in this country - where obesity rates are rising faster than the US - means there is a similar threat to Britain’s population.
The study, led by the American Cancer Society, considered 30 of the most common cancer types, and tracked trends among those diagnosed between 1995 and 2014.
They included 12 cancers linked to obesity, as well as 18 other types of disease where no such association has been found.
While rates of most of the obesity-related cancers saw a sharp rise in younger generations - outpacing the rise in older generations, in six types of disease - no such trend was seen in the other types of cancer, where rates either remained stable or fell.'
Read more: 'Shocking' rise in obesity-related cancers among young adults
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