Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baby Boomers are less healthy than their parents

Time   Every generation likes to think it’s healthier than the one that came before, but baby boomers can’t make that claim.

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that a sample of the baby boom generation, the 78 million Americans who were born in the post-war birth explosion from 1946 to 1964, were less healthy than many of their parents. Never mind the fact that Baby boomers have been dubbed the Healthiest Generation, since they have the longest life expectancy of any previous generation, and that  they were able to exploit advances in medical care and reap the benefits of public health campaigns highlighting the dangers of smoking and unhealthy diets. That moniker may simply no longer apply, since it turns out that they have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol than members of the previous generation. [...]

Hypertension is a particularly troubling example of that—both because of the raw numbers and because of the cardiovascular damage that can result from the condition: 35% of those in the previous generation had high blood pressure, while more than double that proportion, 75%, of baby boomers do. And that’s despite greater awareness of the condition, as well as better screening methods and treatments for runaway readings.

Why are public health campaigns, as well as improved therapies, not having a greater effect on disease rates? One factor overshadowing any incremental gains in chronic disease may be obesity — a greater portion of the US population is overweight or obese than ever before, and those extra pounds can trigger a host of unhealthy medical conditions. And rather than treat the root cause of obesity, advances in medical care — drugs that lower cholesterol, medications that drop blood pressure, and bypass surgeries that fix plaque-burdened hearts — may only be masking and perpetuating the problem. “Medication use has definitely increased, so we are propping ourselves up on our canes and our medicines,” says King. “We are becoming over dependent on medications and surgical solutions rather than creating our own good health.” [...]

1 comment:

  1. vegetable oils, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, white flour, skim milk and not enough exercise.

    That is what my grandmother a"h who lived to be a vigorous 89 said in the 70s when all of her children who were in their 30s at the time were suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

    We need to return to traditional diets and slow food.

    My grandmother also had her teeth and they were perfect. It's not "good genes" since none of the children of the 17 siblings (my grandparents and their siblings) were as well as their parents.

    The Weston Price Foundation has a lot on this.


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