By Sam Blanchard Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 09:27 GMT, 14 March 2019 | Updated: 09:27 GMT, 14 March 2019
Older people don't understand the links between cancer and their diet as well as younger generations, a survey has revealed.
Only 58 per cent of baby boomers know what they eat and drink could give them cancer – and even a third of 18 to 24-year-olds don't understand the connection.
The World Cancer Research Fund survey asked more than 2,000 adults in the UK how much they knew about the links.
Experts warned people's knowledge of risks posed by unhealthy eating and drinking could be directly linked to their long-term health.
A survey has uncovered people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are less likely than younger generations to understand that a poor diet could increase their risk of cancer (stock image)
The survey found 64 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds know alcohol increases cancer risk, compared to 59 per cent of baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – The Guardian reported.
But over-55s are more aware of the dangers of processed meats like ham, bacon and sausages, with 62 per cent of them aware of the cancer risk.
Fewer than half (48 per cent) of Generation Z – people born in the mid 1990s to early noughties – said they know about the dangers of processed meat.
Head of research at the WCRF, Susannah Brown, said the way people learn about their food could be a reason for the generational gaps.
'The different age groups seem to be aware of different risk factors,' she said, 'and it could potentially suggest that the sources they are using get this type of information from could perhaps be influencing them.'
Cancer Research UK said one in 20 cases of cancer could be prevented if people ate more healthily.
People with poor diets are more likely to be obese, which has been proven to contribute to cancer.
It is believed to be the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, and excess