Friday, April 24, 2009

Are Generation Y Fatter Than Their Baby Boomer Parents?

Generation Y generally refers to those people who were born between the late 1970 and 2000. They grow up in the environment that expects them to be faster and more efficient, smarter and more available. On the other hand, people who were born during the spike in birth rate after World War II are termed as the baby boomer generation.

By pulling together 4 cross-generational and national surveys from 1990 to 2005, the researchers from the University of Sydney revealed that young Australians have increasingly more sedentary lives. Their findings, which were published in the British Journal of Nutrition in March 2009, showed that the young people not only exercise less than older generations did at the same age, but also exercise less than the older people do today.

For instance, women now aged in their 20s are estimated to have their physical exercises for only 15 minutes per day whereas most retired Australians (baby boomers) are now exercising at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.

Such results pointed to a fact that the younger Australians are living increasingly more sedentary lifestyles than their predecessors are, and they indeed spend less time in physical exercise than people of retirement age are.

In the study, the researchers indicated that baby boomers and earlier generations were born before the invention of television, computer and widespread motor vehicle usage. As such, they probably spend more time in the daily physical activity that expends energy. In contrast, the people in Generation Y need to work longer hours and have less opportunity for physical activity in the workplace. This could probably explain the difference across the generations and why the obesity rate is climbing.

Having a fatter body will make a particular person a possible candidate for many diseases. For example, an overweight or obese person is subject to a higher risk of getting heart disease. They are also more likely to develop diabetes, hypertension (or more commonly known as high blood pressure) and even certain types of cancer.

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