Baby boomers are living longer than prior generations. But does that mean they are living healthier? A new study says no.
Why? A new study finds that boomers are less active, for one thing, and actually experience more health problems than their parents did.
"Despite their longer life expectancy over previous generations, U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age," wrote the study's authors, led by Dr. Dana E. King, professor and chair of family medicine at West Virginia University, Morgantown.
Some things the study found:
- 39 percent of boomers were obese, compared to 29 percent before
- 52 percent of boomers reported a sedentary lifestyle, compared to 17.4 percent before
- 13 percent of boomers report “excellent” health, compared with 32 percent before
Dr. King feels that many baby boomers may be relying too much on medicine to solve their problems instead of establishing a healthy lifestyle.
The news is not all bad, however. Baby boomers are less likely to smoke cigarettes and less likely to have emphysema or experience heart attacks. It should be noted that the average age in this study was 54.
The study concluded,“Given the link between positive healthy lifestyles and subsequent health in this age group, the present study demonstrates a clear need for policies that expand efforts at prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion in the baby boomer generation.”