It seems the baby boomers in America share at least one trait with baby boomers in Australia: obesity. A study recently released in the country "down under" reveals that baby boomers there also have a high rate of obesity and being overweight and the same risks for developing chronic diseases that will impact them now and in the future.
Professor Graeme Hugo of Adelaide University in Australia spoke today, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation and the need for new public policies there to address the issue.
Statistics for American Baby Boomers
The American Federation for Aging Research, AFAR, found that the single greatest rate of obesity was in the 51- to 60-year age group (that group would now be 59 years to 68 years old); following closely on the heels of their older brethren were the baby boomers age 41 to 50 (now 49 to 58 years old).
More recent figures, provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2009 through 2010 reveal an obesity rate of 36.6 percent in those age 40 years to 59 years old; an obesity rate of 39.7 percent in those age 60 years and older. This data follows the pattern reported in 2005 by AFAR.
AFAR's study also found that for those adults age 75 years and older, obesity was a rare occurrence.
Statistics for Australian Baby Boomers
Hugo's report indicated that today's baby boomers have twice the rate of obesity than did their parents at the same age; the number of Australian baby boomers having three or more chronic conditions is 700 percent greater than their parents.
Impact of Obesity on Health and Economics
As Hugo points out for Australian baby boomers, there is a small window of opportunity to control and reverse the trend towards obesity, not only due to the great impact their health concerns will have on the economy but also as a quality of life issue for the boomers themselves.
The same is true in America where the Medicare system is already overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing health care coverage for the 8,000 baby boomers who turn age 65 every day. Obesity is not just a personal issue; the economics involved impact all Americans.
Obese adults worldwide need to take personal responsibility for their health, including their weight. If personal responsibility doesn't work, governments may have little choice but to regulate issues relating to obesity.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.