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Gen X overtaking baby boomers on obesity
Date:11/1/2012

New research from the University of Adelaide shows that Australia's Generation X is already on the path to becoming more obese than their baby boomer predecessors.

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 & Outcome Studies group, School of Medicine.

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

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

Ms Pilkington's PhD research covers the health status and health behaviors of Gen X and baby boomers, and the major role the workplace has to play in their health.

"Boomers and Gen X together make up more than 75% of Australia's workforce. Their health and the role of the workplace in promoting a healthy, or unhealthy, environment is of critical importance to the Australian economy, to society and to people's quality of life," Ms Pilkington says.

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Contact: Rhiannon Pilkington
rhiannon.pilkington@adelaide.edu.au
61-883-131-209
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

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