Health Study

Baby Boomers And Obesity [Study]

The baby boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964 in the United States, roughly 78 million people over the age of 49, are not as healthy as hoped according to a new study. In spite of the incredible medical advances, innovations in health care, and an unprecedented number of older individuals who are fairly active, physicians are still finding a discouraging escalation of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity within that generation.

The study, published in the February 4, 2013 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, was conducted in comparison sessions with a group of people aged 46 to 64. Initially, the younger of the two groups was evaluated in 1988, the older 1994. They were reexamined from 2007 to 2010. The data used was drawn from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Researchers found obesity more prevalent in the baby boomer group, a difference of 10 percent higher in comparison to the other group.

However, in one area of the health study, boomers did have a lower rate of heart attacks and emphysema. It was surmised the result had something to do with the number of non-smokers screened.

Obesity was the most predominant issue facing and affecting the heath of baby boomers, according to Nancy Copperman. She is a registered dietitian and the director of public health initiatives at North Shore-LIJ Health Systems.

Copperman addressed the findings:

“I wasn’t surprised to see the data because we’ve seen the obesity epidemic over the last two to three decades really increase, and with that heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.”

Researchers are also concerned the aging population is too reliant on medications to regulate their health, instead of making lifestyle changes.

[Image via Shutterstock]