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30 is the new 45

For years we have been hearing the mantra of baby boomers that refuse to grow old gracefully:  “50 is the new 40,”and “60 is the new 50”…., but researchers in the Netherlands have discovered that in young adults this axiom is not true. Conversely, the current generation of young adults is actually biologically older than their parents and grandparents at the same age. Today’s young adults are so unhealthy that they appear to be 15 years older than their parents appeared at the same age.  The study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology followed 6000 adults over a 25 year period.  This study found that young adults suffered an alarming increase in conditions attributed to metabolic syndrome:  increased rates of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other conditions.

According to this study, men in their 30s were 20% more likely to be obese than previous generations, and women in their 20s were twice as likely to be obese as previous generations.

“The more recently born adult generations are doing far worse than their predecessors,” said Gerben Hulsegge of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment who authored the study.

“For example, the prevalence of obesity in our youngest generation of men and women at the mean age of 40 is similar to that of our oldest generation at the mean age of 55. This means that this younger generation is ‘15 years ahead’ of the older generation and will be exposed to their obesity for a longer time.”

This study exposes a silent pandemic that is sweeping the developed world; the growing epidemic of ill health brought on by unhealthy eating, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles. In spite of a reduction in risky behaviors, such as smoking, and medical advancements, life expectancies may plateau and actually recede in coming decades.  Certainly the cost of health care can expect to rise, possibly to the point that health care costs could bankrupt the developed world.  Consider some of these chilling statistics:

  • $62 billion is the yearly amount spent by Medicare and Medicaid on obesity-related conditions-Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • $580 billion is the projected economic productivity loss due to obesity that could occur by 2030 if the current trend continues –Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • $1 billion is spent per year in additional airline costs to cover the cost to fly obese passengers (350 million gallons per year)- Aircraft Interiors International
  • $14.3 billion is spent on the cost of childhood obesity in the United States each year-Brookings Institute
  • $164 billion is lost in productivity to U.S. employers due to obesity related problems-Society of Actuaries
  • One in four young adults are precluded from U. S. military service due to obesity.

What is the answer: More Medicine or More Motion?

Medicine is passive.  The chemicals in drugs may slow the inevitable decline of health suffering from metabolic disease and obesity, but do not address its foundational cause: sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating, sleep deprivation, and obesity. More medical doctors, means more pills, but not necessarily a change in the fundamental way we manage health care.

Motion is life.  Chiropractic restores motion and promotes an activated lifestyle. More chiropractors, means more motion.

Mahatma Gandhi - "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

Treat your patients with chiropractic and encourage them to participate in a chiropractic lifestyle of activity, healthy eating, sleeping, temperance, and healthy relationships. You may also choose to become a local champion in your community to promote an active fit lifestyle and to encourage schools to expand physical education programs.  Finally, I would challenge you to live your life in such a way as to inspire all those around you to greater health and fitness.


Links to References/resources