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Baby Boomers in Poorer Health than Previous Generation

A new comparison study finds members of the Baby Boomer generation are getting less exercise and feeling worse than their parents did when at the same age. Baby boomers are generally defined as the generation born in the two decades after World War Two. Demographically, they are the largest portion of the American public by age group. In a national survey, approximately 13 percent of baby boomers reported being in "excellent" health in middle age, compared to 32 percent of the previous generation who said the same at the same stage of life. The study, conducted at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, used data from a continuing national health survey to compare the answers of people who were 46 to 64 years old between 1988 and 1994, and the baby boomers who were in the same age range between 2007 and 2010. The researchers noted a 10 percent increase in obesity between the generations and a four percent increase in diabetes. The baby boomers were also more likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. More surprisingly, the researchers noted that twice as many boomers needed a cane or walker to remain mobile, compared to the previous generation. A bright spot for the baby boomers was their decrease in smoking, which led to a decline in emphysema and other smoking-related illnesses. However, the researchers were quick to point out that the majority of baby boomers needed to exercise more and eat healthier to avoid further health complications.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online February 4, 2013.