Reducing obesity among ageing baby boomers a priority

September 27, 2012

New strategies to reduce obesity among baby boomers in the workforce are urgently needed, according to a report released today by University of Adelaide researchers.

Professor Graeme Hugo AO, Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, says baby boomers have the highest levels of obesity of any age group in the country.

"If baby boomers want to delay their retirement plans and remain active in the workforce and the community, it is imperative we develop effective strategies to reduce obesity and related chronic conditions," Professor Hugo says.

Professor Hugo is chief investigator of a $1.4 million Australian Research Council project led by the University of Adelaide which today handed down preliminary findings of research aimed at halting the among Australian baby boomers.

The project examines how work and home environments shape weight and in this generation.

Preliminary findings show that among baby boomers are more than double that of their parents at the same age. They also have twice the rate of asthma and ; triple the rate of diabetes and almost double the of their parents (age group 53-62).

The proportion of baby boomers with three or more chronic conditions is 700% greater than the previous generation.

Social indicators suggest they will also have less support, more will enter their later life without a spouse, a greater percentage will live alone, fewer will own their own home and more will rent.

Professor Hugo says while the report paints a grim picture, it also offers opportunities.

" are a tremendous social resource for Australia. Their contribution to volunteering in this country is significant and they have a lifetime of accumulated skill and experience to pass on, with 64% intending to work 16 hours or more per week in retirement. However, if we are to harness this potential we need to stem the tide of obesity and improve their health while we can."

Professor Hugo says Australia has a brief window of opportunity to reduce the onset of in the baby boomer generation and to maximise their ability to lead active, socially productive lives.

"But that window won't remain open for very long," he said.

Explore further: More baby boomers facing old age alone

Related Stories

More baby boomers facing old age alone

April 16, 2012
Startling new statistics from Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) paint a bleak future for the largest generation in history, the baby boomers, as they cross into old ...

Single baby boomers facing increased challenges as they age

April 4, 2012
Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, the couple depicted on the "Woodstock" soundtrack album cover, have now been happily married for over 40 years. However, a new special issue of The Gerontologist showing the Ercolines as they look ...

Most baby boomers 'under the doctor' at retirement

September 21, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—The vast majority of the post-war baby boomers have had at least one medical condition requiring regular GP visits in the run-up to retirement, and just one in six was completely condition free, according ...

Recommended for you

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Parents modeling healthy behaviors leads to markedly better outcomes for children

December 13, 2017
When trying to help children lose weight, involving a parent in the treatment makes the entire family healthier, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown.

'Obesity paradox' not found when measuring new cases of cardiovascular disease

December 7, 2017
Although obesity is a well-known risk factor for getting cardiovascular disease, a controversial body of research suggests that obesity may actually be associated with improved survival among people who have cardiovascular ...

Harmful effects of being overweight underestimated

December 1, 2017
The harmful effects of being overweight have been underestimated, according to a new study that analysed body mass index (BMI), health and mortality data in around 60,000 parents and their children, to establish how obesity ...

More than half of US children will have obesity as adults if current trends continue

November 29, 2017
If current trends in child obesity continue, more than 57% of today's children in the U.S. will have obesity at age 35, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Exercise alone does not lead to weight loss in women—in the medium term

November 23, 2017
Knowing whether or not exercise causes people to lose weight is tricky. When people take up exercise, they often restrict their diet – consciously or unconsciously – and this can mask the effects of the exercise. In our ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.