Gen X overtaking baby boomers on obesity – in Oz – and probably here, as well

New research from the University of Adelaide shows that Generation X is already on the path to becoming more obese than their baby boomer predecessors.

Studies show that boomers currently have the highest level of obesity of any age group in Australia. However, new research by University of Adelaide PhD student Rhiannon Pilkington has revealed some alarming statistics. As part of her research, she has compared obesity levels between the two generations at equivalent ages.

Using data from the National Health Survey, Ms Pilkington compared Generation X in 2008 to boomers at the same age, in 1989…

At the same age, Gen X males have nearly double the prevalence of obesity: 18.3% compared with 9.4% for boomers. There is a smaller but still significant difference in females, with 12.7% of Gen X women being obese in 2008 and 10.4% of boomer females obese in 1989.

“This does not bode well for the future health of Generation X,” she says…

“Boomers and Gen X together make up more than 75% of Australia’s workforce. Their health and the role of the workplace in promoting a healthy, or unhealthy, environment is of critical importance to the Australian economy, to society and to people’s quality of life,” Ms Pilkington says.

“Obesity has become the new smoking – it’s a major driver of ill health, with coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes highest on the list of preventable illnesses. Obesity also costs billions of dollars to our economy each year. Anything we can do to mitigate the damage being done to both generations of Australians by obesity will be hugely important for the future of our nation.”

Happens to be something I’ve been reflecting on, lately – especially with the advent of the Advantage programs added to Medicare by Obama. Though I’ve been an advocate of healthy exercise and nutrition for years, I took kind of a late start at reforming my own lifestyle after years of living on the road, so to speak. I certainly didn’t avail myself of the minimal health checkups I had access to.

Now, part of the new programmatic approach to a longer healthier life is access to testing, exams, exercise programs as good as anything I ever devised – and nutritional counseling. Though everything worked out by my honey and me is sufficient, I have to admit the prompting keeps me conscious of working a bit more at growing a longer, healthier life.

I like it.

3 thoughts on “Gen X overtaking baby boomers on obesity – in Oz – and probably here, as well

  1. Michelle Meaders says:

    “Happens to be something I’ve been reflecting on, lately – especially with the advent of the Advantage programs added to Medicare by Obama. ”

    I thought Medicare Advantage was added in an earlier admin. (Wikipedia says, “The term originated with the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997,”) and “Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, the compensation and business practices changed for insurers that offer these plans, and “Medicare+Choice” plans became known as Medicare Advantage plans.” and “As of 2008, the federal government spent 12 percent more on Medicare Advantage than it did for comparable care under traditional Medicare. These subsidies (which added an additional $14 billion to the Medicare program last year alone) will gradually be reduced until payments to Medicare Advantage are in line with the cost of traditional Medicare.”)

    What the affordable Care Act (AFA) added was preventive services with no co-pay, regardless of how you get your Medicare. It has been confusing, since there wasn’t much official information about the ACA. And Republican political campaigns have distorted it.

    • eideard says:

      Each Advantage version in practice has been implemented like something brand new each time, sometimes year by year. And each company manages to be inconsistent with the others.

      I’ve ended up doing the whole search and research during the autumn change period – almost every year. In fact, switching back to United Healthcare this coming year after they stopped offering it altogether and screwing clients and agents alike the last time they dropped NM for Advantage.

      I trust them as far as I can throw them lefthanded, uphill into a heavy wind. But, this time around they happen to offer me the best value.

      YMMV.

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