Whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer, you’re probably spending too much on food.
Eating is the top reason for exceeding expenses among all age groups—for those aged 20 to 29 (40 percent), 30 to 39 (34 percent), 40 to 49 (39 percent), 50 to 59 (36 percent), and those aged 60 and older (33 percent).
Interestingly, millennials are actually spending less eating out, with their soft restaurant expenditures dropping in recent years. But they’re making up for it at the grocery store and non-traditional food establishments.
While overspending on food takes a toll on your budget, overeating takes a similar toll on your body. According to estimates from Cancer Research UK, more than 70 percent of millennials are set to be overweight or obese between the ages of 35 and 44. The millennial generation is the most overweight age group ever recorded, which increases their risk of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Being overweight is the United Kingdom’s second biggest cause of cancer after smoking.
Unfortunately, millennials are not alone. Since 2013, there was a significant increase in childhood obesity, which affects children ages two to five. This exposes them to health risks down the road, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, as well as cancer.
In the words of Duke University health services researcher Asheley Skinner: “This is not surprising, necessarily, but is disheartening. It tells us that our efforts to improve the health of children is not reaching across the country. We need to improve access to healthy food and physical activity, and do it in a way that recognizes that parents have stressful lives.”
Americans should read the writing on the wall. Spend less on food, and you’ll be rewarded with bigger budgets and healthier hearts.