Gen X obesity outweighs that of baby boomers

Washington: Australia`s Generation X is already on the path to becoming more obese than their baby boomer predecessors, new research has warned.

Studies show that boomers currently have the highest level of obesity of any age group in Australia.

However, new research by University of Adelaide PhD student Rhiannon Pilkington has revealed some alarming statistics. As part of her research, she has compared obesity levels between the two generations at equivalent ages.

Using data from the National Health Survey, Ms Pilkington compared Generation X in 2008 to boomers at the same age, in 1989.

"This comparison paints a very poor picture of Generation X. It gives rise to major concerns for the future health of Gen X and Australia`s ability to cope with that burden," says Ms Pilkington, who is conducting her research in the University`s Population Research and Outcome Studies group, School of Medicine.

"At the same age, Gen X males have nearly double the prevalence of obesity: 18.3 percent compared with 9.4 percent for boomers. There is a smaller but still significant difference in females, with 12.7 percent of Gen X women being obese in 2008 and 10.4 percent of boomer females obese in 1989.

"This does not bode well for the future health of Generation X," she says.

Ms Pilkington says turning to the workplace is a logical step when considering how to have a positive impact on adult health.

She suggests work places should encourage healthier lifestyles, providing access to healthy food, flexible working options and physical activity programs.


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