Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 through 1964 – will live longer than any other generation before them, but they will not necessarily be healthier. In fact, many are already burdened with more chronic illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes than their parents and grandparents were. Most of these health problems are lifestyle-related and could be prevented through changes in diet, exercise and weight management, but for some reason these messages seem hard to get across.
A recent study conducted by the West Virginia University School of Medicine found that despite of better education and greater awareness in health matters as well as advancements in medicine, baby boomers will likely face more sickness in their twilight years than generations before them.
The study found that the number of boomers who have high cholesterol has more than doubled compared to the previous generation. Nearly 40 percent are obese, an increase of over 10 percent in just 12 years. Less than half exercise regularly, and a rapidly growing number can’t walk without using a cane or a walker. Boomers are also reported to suffer more from mental illness and alcohol and drug addiction than their parents did. In other words, baby boomers appear to be heading for retirement in worse shape than those born before World War II.