People need to “get much more serious” about their own health, according to NHS England’s Chief Executive.

This warning comes on the heels of a new report which indicates that one in five cancer deaths are caused by obesity.

Additionally, the world’s biggest conference on cancer recently heralded that tens of thousands are dying each year from obesity-related illness and – according to

The Times – obesity is on track to replacing tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.

“The average weight of our citizens is increasing dramatically,” Jennifer Ligibel of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University expressed during a talk to the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

“I think people are aware that being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes,” she noted, “but not that it increases the risk of cancer and their risk of dying from cancer.”

According to the evidence, Dr. Ligibel explained that heavier people are at risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, cancer of the colon and all the gynecological cancers.

Tackling diabetes is now top priority for NHS England as well as other governments in the West.

Learn more about why losing weight is crucial for you to live a healthy life.