The Boomer Generation: an Unhealthy Trend?

New research indicates that Baby Boomers are less healthy than the previous generation.


More bad news for the Boomer generation- those born 1946 - 1964.

Although great medical advances have been made in the Boomer lifetime, contributing to greater life expectancies, the Boomer generation may be much less healthy than the previous Silent Generation.

A study released online last week in the JAMA Internal Medicine examined the health status of aging Baby Boomers relative to the previous generation. Here are the grim statistics:

  • Overall, only 13.2 percent of Boomers reported themselves in “excellent health” compared to 32% of individuals in the previous generation
  • Diabetes has more than doubled in just one generation. 15.5% of Boomers have diabetes compared to only 6.2% of individuals in their parent’s generation
  • High Blood Pressure? 43% of Boomers vs 36.4% of the Silent Generation
  • Obesity increased to 38.7% of Boomers from 29.4% in the previous generation
  • High Cholesterol is clogging up the works for 73.5% of Boomers versus only 33.8% of individuals in the Silent Generation


So that’s bad news, but it’s an active generation, right? They run and compete in triathlons and walk the Malls and they know the importance of physical activity, don’t they? Well…  Boomers might talk the talk, but they surely don’t walk the walk.

  • Only about 35% of Boomers exercise more than 12 times per month- down from nearly 50% a generation ago
  • More than half of all Boomers report NO regular physical activity


On a national level, what exactly does this generational good-health deficit mean? According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Boomers made up 26.1 percent of the population. Unless these health statistics turn around, the Boomer Generation could strain our workforce numbers and, in the coming decades, impact our ability to provide adequate healthcare- important considerations for future policy planning.

The impact on a personal and individual level is even more significant. In addition to increased financial costs, Boomers will struggle with quality of life issues. While statistics may indicate that Boomers will live longer, they also indicate that the value of those additional years may be diminished by poor health.

Change is never easy… but surely it’s time to change?




Baby Boomer, Mary Catherine Cochran works as a Senior Communications Project Manager at Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine where, among other things, she manages and writes for the Well & Wise blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MG42 February 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM
The boomers bankrupted Social Security, so no one owes them a cent. If they don't want to be healthy, that's their personal problem. Let them reap what they sew.
Sanchez February 13, 2013 at 06:01 PM
HEHEHE, wait till they all retire on SS and 3 workers must pay in enough to pay for services to the retired. SS today has $20.5 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities. Yea! That can continue on with no harm.
Rand February 14, 2013 at 01:02 PM
The Boomers did not bankrupt SS, Idiot. The politicians in DC stole to money to give your Daddy a job!
MG42 February 14, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Check yourself, idiot. The when SS started there were something like 12 workers for every retiree. Now thanks to the boomers there is or will be 2 workers for every retiree. Those boomer demographics killed it. Aside from that, you are correct that politicians that the boomers and older folks elected have raided the trust fund, so I guess it doesn't matter.
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