As reported by Dr. Dana King and colleagues (2013), baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 comprised about 26% of the population in the U.S. in 2010.
Looking at baby boomers and health, including the overall health status of the baby boom generation, researchers looked at National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to compare current baby boomers to the prior generation when both were at the same age.
Generations born before the baby boomers include the Silent Generation born between 1925 and 1925 and the so-called Greatest Generation or those born from around 1900 to 1924.
Findings identify some notable differences between baby boomers and health when considering the prior generation. Consider the following findings:
- Baby boomers had a lower overall health status
- Baby boomers had a higher percentage with hypertension and hypercholesterolemia was also more common among this generation
- A great percentage of baby boomers used a device for assistance walking and more also had some type of functional limitation
- Obesity was more prevalent among baby boomers
- Exercise on a regular basis was less common among baby boomers
- Moderate drinking was more common among baby boomers
- Smokers were less common among the baby boom cohort when compared to the previous generation.
Read more about this research comparing baby boomers and health with prior generations.