Baby boomers, Gen X, millennials define being healthy differently

07/09/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:17 AM

Kids these days – they’re just not as healthy as we are, or our parents were.

That’s generally the sentiment of 1,800 people surveyed this spring by Harris Interactive for a study commissioned by Aetna. The Hartford-based health insurance company is in the midst of a major marketing campaign aimed at health awareness and individuality as it tries to sell people individual health insurance plans.

The study asked people age 25 to 64 which generation is the healthiest. Forty-five percent said their own generation has that distinction, 32 percent said it was their parents’ generation, and 23 percent said it was a younger generation.

In the baby boomers category, the study included only those who have not yet reached the Medicare eligibility age of 65: those 49 to 64 years old. Gen X was defined in the study as people 37 to 48, and millennials were defined as people 25 to 36.

Twice as many boomers as Generation X or millennials defined “being healthy” as getting recommended medical screenings and checkups.

Asked if being healthy means good eating habits, the following agreed: 24 percent of millennials, 14 percent of Generation X, and 12 percent of baby boomers.

Asked if it meant regular physical activity, the following agreed: 22 percent of millennials, 14 percent of Generation X, and 12 percent of baby boomers.

Stress can lead to drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy food. The following said they reach for alcohol when stressed: 37 percent of millennials, 23 percent of Generation X and 16 percent of boomers. The following said they snack on unhealthy food when dealing with stress: 51 percent of millennials, 48 percent of Generation X and 36 percent of baby boomers.

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