Obesity More Common Among Baby Boomers Says New Poll

A woman walks on the National Mall in Washington DC on August 13, 2010. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn

Obesity is affecting baby boomers more than other groups reported the Associated Press on Monday. In a poll conducted with LifeGoesStrong.com, the Associated Press found that about one-third of those polled are obese. Conversely, only about 25% of those in the generation older and younger are considered obese. Study researchers calculated the body mass index of poll respondents based height and weight measurements offered by those asked. The Associated Press also reported that 36% of baby boomers are overweight.

Jeff Levi, of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit organization, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "They're going to be expensive if they don't get their act together.” Obesity is a risk factor for other serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The Associated Press reported that up to 77 million baby boomers may be eligible for Medicare coverage, coverage that could be 34% more expensive for someone who’s obese.

LifeGoesStrong.com, who joined the Associated Press in conducting the study, also reported that most baby boomers have already made changes to their diet, although the reasons given by respondents varied from losing weight to eating less fat, sugar or carbohydrates to lowering cholesterol levels. Jason Alexander, 51, of “Seinfeld” fame, was quoted by the site as saying, “I didn't hit 50 in a way I thought was healthy. But now the bad habits are gone. I'm more motivated than I ever have been in my life to deal with eating right on an ongoing basis for health.”

LifeGoesStrong.com also reported that more than half of respondents said they’d increased their level of physical activity within the past year. The site reported that actress Diane Lane, 46, was fond of yoga: “They say you are the age and the flexibility of your spine. If your spine is youthful and limber than you too shall be in other departments in your life. Flexibility is more important to me than strength or stamina.”

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