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Baby boomers not as healthy as parents reports study

Posted On Wed, March 6, 2013

While health consciousness may be at an all-time high in today's society, that hasn't necessarily translated into people of today's generation being healthier than their predecessors.

According to a recent study published by researchers from West Virginia University School of Medicine, baby boomers - people who were born between 1946 and 1964 - are on the whole less healthy than their parents.

Researchers determined this after analyzing a recent survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Among other health complications, baby boomers, on average, had higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, bad cholesterol levels and suffered from more disability than their parents.

Dana King, a professor in family medicine at WVU and lead author of the research, indicated that there are a lot of misperceptions out there that because people today are living longer, that means they're on the whole healthier.

"Unfortunately they may be living longer with a greater burden of chronic disease, and more disability," said King. "It's not exactly a good public health outcome."

Even in self-assessments, baby boomers often viewed themselves as being in poor condition health wise. The poll found that a mere 13 percent of baby boomers considered themselves to be in "excellent" shape. Meanwhile, nearly one-third of the previous generation felt this way.

The report also revealed that weight gain was a major issue for baby boomers, with 39 percent considered to be obese versus 29 percent of boomers' parents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 36 percent of Americans have a body mass index greater than 30, which health officials use to determine obesity levels. The health effects resulting from obesity may play a role in health insurance rates.

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