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UK adults eating 100 million convenience meals a week, study finds

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Cancer Research UK warns that "grab and go" foods mean adults are eating more than they need and are putting their health at risk. British adults are at an "increased cancer risk" from eating a staggering 100 million fast food and takeaway meals every week, according to a new report.

Young adults are seven times more likely than over-65s to eat fast food, microwave meals, pizzas and chips at least once a week, according to the study by Cancer Research UK.

The report shows that men are more likely to indulge in ready meals, sweets and soft drinks than women - with more than 55% tucking into convenience food at least once a week, compared to 44% of women.

Overall, UK adults consume up to 300 calories more than the recommended daily amount.

Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK, 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."

In the study, more than 3,200 people had their body mass index (BMI), physical activity levels and diet patterns measured.

It found that 71% of men and 61% of women were "sufficiently active", including 46% of obese participants.

Jyosyna Wohra, head of the Policy Research Centre for Cancer Prevention which published the report, said food manufacturers need to reduce salt, sugar and fat levels in their products.

She said: "We do know that obesity has been increasing in the UK due to lifestyle choices that people make, including turning to ready meals because of convenience.

"There is no one silver bullet related to obesity.

"We want the food industry to look at the report and look at how they can make (their products) healthier."

It comes after the Institute of Economic Affairs found than healthy food is mostly cheaper than junk food and that the recommended five-a-day fruit and veg portions could cost as little as 30p.

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