“Already, some obese children under ten have diabetes. This crisis is bankrupting the NHS. It’s killing millions and costing billions but the cure is free – eat less,” he said.
Four in ten young adults in Britain are overweight or obese, according to new figures released by the NHS.
Nearly three million 16- to 24-year-olds weigh too much – a million more than two decades ago, the statistics reveal.
Doctors said the generation risked dying at a younger age than their parents, despite a host of medical breakthroughs in recent decades.
The figures from NHS Digital, show 39 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds are overweight or obese, up from 27 per cent in 1993.
Soaring numbers have dangerously large waist sizes, the statistics reveal.
In total, 17 per cent of young men have a waist of at least 40 inches, compared with 4 per cent in 1993.
And 23 per cent of women of this age have a waistband of at least 34.5 inches – a rise from 9 per cent in 1993.
Professor Lord Ian McColl, a former surgeon, said: “Overweight and obese young people may well end up living shorter lives than their parents, most of whom were slim in their youth.
The figures suggest 2.9 million young adults have an unhealthy weight – compared with 1.8 million just over two decades ago.
Experts said modern diets, sedentary lifestyles and successive governments’ failure to drive down childhood obesity were to blame for spiralling problems.
Dr Mike Osborn, of the Royal College of Pathologists, told the Mail on Sunday: “Being overweight or obese can cause a whole cacophony of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, fatty liver disease and cancer.”
The Government was last year accused of watering down its childhood obesity strategy, having previously discussed stringent measures to crack down on advertising and marketing.
A Department of Health spokesman said the Government was taking a “comprehensive approach” to tackling obesity in both children and adults.
But Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum said a succession of ministers had failed to take any action to stop an epidemic which had spiralled since the 1990s.
He criticised the Government’s approach, saying: “It has no current obesity strategy for adults whatsoever and Thesesa May’s suggestions to tackle childhood obesity is little more than 10 pages of uncosted ‘ambitions’ with faint chance that any will be delivered as planned,” he said.
“These appalling figures are their legacies: the absolute tragedy is that another million people could be well be added to the statistics by the 2030s,” he said.