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Obesity Is Baby Boomer's Greatest Health Risk

07-27-2011 08:48 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Association Marketing

long term care expert Jesse Slome

long term care expert Jesse Slome

A higher percentage of baby boomers are obese than in any other group in the United States according to a recent study.

The research revealed that over a third (36 percent) of U.S. baby boomers are obese. The study found that only a quarter (25 percent) of the two generations directly above and below boomers are obese.

According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a baby boomer is somebody born between 1946 and about 1965. "Boomers make up almost one in five U.S. citizens and have a significant impact on the economy," Slome explains. "Their impact of health care and long-term care costs could be more than this nation can bear."

The study also found that a significant proportion of baby boomers who are not obese are overweight. Health experts note that if baby boomers continue with present levels of weight and physical inactivity, they are going to become expensive. "Experts know their medical costs due to obesity-related illnesses and conditions will grow," Slome explains.

"Baby boomers who are not obese and younger generations are going to have to foot the trillions of dollars in health care costs for the millions of unhealthy boomers," Slome explains. "Healthy boomers approaching retirement have very little time left to develop a plan so they are not left depending on already strapped government programs or forced to deplete whatever retirement savings they managed to squirrel away."

Medical experts report that obesity raises the risk of developing some cancers, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Obese Medicare beneficiaries are estimated to cost 34% more than their non-obese/overweight peers. According to the Poll, approximately 77 million US baby boomers may be eligible for Medicare coverage.

Researchers interviewed over one thousand men and women who were born between 1946 and 1964. According to their findings over a fourth (28%) said the worst thing about getting older are changes that occur in their physical ability. Being physically independent and being able to pay for medical costs is a major concern.

Approximately one in every three baby boomers is actively doing something about the effects of aging, which may include efforts on physical health and mental abilities. Of those, only eight percent are making major moves to improve their looks. The majority are sure they will live longer than their parents did.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org is the national trade organization focused on educating individuals about the importance of long-term care planning. The Association's Consumer Information Center was voted the #1 source for information by consumer interest group rating and can be accessed at http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance.

American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
3835 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Westlake Village, CA 91362

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