Study: Baby boomers not in health reality

Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM
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OTTAWA, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Unless baby boomers take immediate action they may spend their last years in sickness, disability and immobility, Canadian researchers warned.

A Heart and Stroke Foundation survey found almost 80 percent of Canadian boomers said they think their doctors would rate them as healthy, but their self-reported lifestyle choices show otherwise.

Eighty-five percent of Canadian boomers said they did not eat enough vegetables and fruit, more than 40 percent said they didn't get enough physical activity each week, 21 percent said they smoked and 11 percent said they were heavy drinkers, the study said.

Despite these lifestyle habits, more than a quarter of Canadian baby boomers said they didn't feel concerned about how healthy they will be later in life, while 74 percent said they didn't know they could reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 80 percent with lifestyle modifications.

"The lifestyle choices that Canadian boomers are making directly contribute to living the last 10 years of their lives in sickness. This should cause boomers a lot of concern," Dr. Beth Abramson, a spokeswoman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said in a statement.

More than half of boomers said they wanted to travel and be active around the house in retirement, 38 percent want to be involved grandparents, 36 percent want to take up a new hobby, and a quarter would like to winter somewhere warm and sunny.

The survey was conducted in November 2012 by Leger Marketing among 800 Canadian baby boomers born from 1947 to 1966. The survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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