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Lady rides electric-assist bicycle, which offers a moderate but meaningful approach to fitness.
Lady rides electric-assist bicycle, which offers a moderate but meaningful approach to fitness.

Boomer Generation Less Healthy Than Parents

The generation born between 1946 and 1964 is more obese, has higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and artery-clogging chlosterol than their parents, but there is solution.

First the bad news. Obesity is 10% higher among the generation born between 1946 and 1964, known as Baby Boomers. Directly related to that, the incidences of diabetes jumped from 12% to 15.5%; and hypertension has jumped from 36% to 43%, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Reporting on the JAMA study, Dr. Randy Rzewnicki, the health policy officer at the European Cyclists' Federation, adds:

“High cholesterol problems rose from 34% of the population, to 74% in the Baby-Boom generation. "

All this means the Baby Boom Generation is less healthy that the previous generation. The research was conducted by West Virginia University School of Medicine, which analyzed US public health survey data between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010 for Americans aged 46-64 during these time windows.

Rzewnicki and many others health professional blame much of the problem on a sedentary lifestyle, not only among Americans, but also Europeans, where it's estimated that physical inactivity costs Europe's economy up to €150 billion (US$193 billion) annually.

According to the ECF...

"The study found that 52% of the Baby Boomers reported doing no regular exercise, versus 17% for the previous generation. Only 35% reported doing exercise at least 12 times per month in the Baby-Boom generation versus 50% for their parents’ generation."

Now the good news. The situation isn't hopeless. We can do something about it. It's called physical activity.

As would be expected from a cycling federation official, Rzewnicki sees riding a bicycle as an important way to address the problem. "Physical activity," he notes, "is part of the solution." And he asserts that walking and biking are "some of the very best ways to get your daily dose of activity."

Posted By: Bill Moore [26-Mar-2013]