With baby boomers making up nearly one third of the population, they have long had the reputation of a generation that takes control of their health.
However, according to a new study featured on News.Health.com, the 78 million people born from the mid-1940s to mid-1960s, are far from healthy.
“The study was conducted at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown and appeared earlier this month in the The Journal of the American Medical Association.”
Its findings were that “medical advances have led to the longest life expectancy ever, but U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than did their parents at a comparable age.”
In a related article on MedCityNews.com, study author, Dr. Dana King said, "The baby boomer generation has a reputation of being active and putting off retirement.”
As a fitness professional, I see daily the effects this generation has had on this industry. There have been many programs implemented to help preserve their health and wellbeing.
But it seems according to the above-mentioned research that more work still needs to be done in terms of education and accountability on behalf of the members of this generation. Dr. King says that they’re seeing increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
The study compared the health of baby boomers to their parents at the same age and looked at specific surveys focusing on health and nutrition. The study’s findings were as follows:
“Overall, about 39 percent of boomers were obese, compared to about 29 percent of the previous generation. Baby boomers were also less likely to get regular exercise.”
The percentages of those with diabetes were about 4 percent higher than their parents. Higher percentages were also found in both the high cholesterol and high blood pressure realms.
Perhaps an even more debilitating finding of this generation are the statistics reported by Dr. King and his associates that “more than twice as many baby boomers walk with a cane or walker, compared to the previous generation.”