At this time in history, we are witnessing a generation that is less healthy than the generation before them. According to a study by Blue Cross Blue Shield, millennials have larger numbers with many health issues than Generation X did at that same age. A generation that is known for healthy practices such as exercise and good diet should be healthier than Gen X, so what is happening?
What Are The Health Concerns?
In the study, there were health concerns more prevalent with the millennial group…major depression, substance abuse, Diabetes Type II, alcohol use, psychotic conditions, high cholesterol, hyperactivity, Crohn’s disease, hypertension, and tobacco use. With 8 of these 10, older millennials had higher numbers than Generation X did when they were that age.
There were surprises with the health issues. First, such use of alcohol, substances, and tobacco, are surprising from a generation that cares so much about a healthy lifestyle. Though, this may be in connection somehow with the depression.
Another surprise was the high cholesterol and hypertension, along with Diabetes Type II. These are conditions for older adults. The concern with this is the possible result from obesity. Are millennials truly living healthy or are there factors such as busier lives and stress that are contributing to decline in health?
What Are We Facing?
There are 73 million millennials with the younger ones just finished with college and the older ones having families. This group also represents 1/3 of the workforce.
The worst discovery was millennials’ health is starting to decline at age 27. This is a much younger age than the other recent generations. Also, women from the millennial group are 20% less healthy than the men.
These findings are discouraging. An entire generation that is more aware of a healthy lifestyle is facing more health problems and some conditions are happening earlier than normal. With more medical advances now than ever, health should be bettering, not getting worse.
This change in health needs to be addressed. A start, is only 68% of millennials report having a primary care physician. A primary care physician and annual checkups should be as important to millennials as their workout at the gym.
Also, now having this information, there needs to be guideline changes and awareness made. This group should be informed and addressing possible health concerns.