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Are Baby Boomers Kidding Themselves?

Baby boomers are not as healthy as they imagine. The generation that took as its slogan “don’t trust anyone over 30” is beginning to reach Medicare age. This cohort was born between 1946 and 1964. They were supposed to be more health conscious than prior generations. Public health campaigns against high-fat diets, smoking and cholesterol should have led to better health among boomers. This group was also theoretically more physically active in their leisure time with gym memberships and other sports activities.
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that they don’t live up to their reputation. Data from a nationally representative survey reveals that fewer boomers (13%) rated themselves as in excellent health compared to previous generations (32%). They are more likely to have difficulty walking or climbing stairs than their parents did at the same age. They are also twice as likely to have high blood pressure. The investigators suggest that this might be due to their high prevalence of obesity and their dependence upon pills to solve their ills.
[JAMA Internal Medicine, online, Feb. 4, 2013]
Boomers who want to stay healthy with as few medications as possible may want to listen to our radio interviews on physical activity, such as Movement for Mood and Wellbeing, with Dr. James Blumenthal and Gretchen Reynolds; Move a Little, Lose a Lot, with Dr. James Levine; or Willpower Science, with Dr. Kelly McGonigal.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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