Unhealthy baby boomer generation

IAS News 11 February 2013 | 0 Comments

Many plans, both health and social, are relying on the ‘baby boomer’ generation living longer than those who have come previously. Better healthcare, new pharmaceuticals and the fact that is commonly seen as expected that people live longer each generation, all mean that this should be the case for those born between 1946 and 1964.
However things aren’t exactly going along those routes. Just because we are living longer doesn’t mean the extra years are necessarily healthy ones, or good for the economy and health system. The recent extra years of life can lead to a heavy cost, both in money and in health, which of course is less than ideal. Studies looking at the health of those born in the baby boomer years, have discovered some startling health facts.
High cholesterol, diabetes and elevated blood pressure were much more prevalent among those born between 1946 and 1964, than the previous generation. Obesity and lower levels of exercise were also common among them. Cancer and suicide rates are also up on previous generations.
This all leads to questions regarding why, which are of course not easy to answer. Especially as these ‘baby boomers’ are supposedly less likely to smoke cigarettes and have lower levels of emphysema and heart attacks then those who have lived before them. It also leaves a bad taste as to the high levels of healthcare that they are likely to need as this generation reach their 70’s and far beyond.
More than half of those in this generation don’t exercise – which was as low as 17.4% of the previous generation. Obesity rates have increased by almost 10% over the same time. Cancer rates were up by 7% on the previous generation, from better detection or simply more cases? It’s difficult to tell. Unbelievably $147 billion is spent on obesity, and $30 billion more than that on diabetes every year!
For those wanting to help themselves, and avoid getting these potentially serious medical complications in the years to come it is relatively simple. Light exercise, and a healthy, balanced diet, along with not smoking, and keeping drinking to a reasonable level along with keeping stress levels to a minimum, will all help keep the illnesses and diseases at bay.

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