London: Baby boomers are putting youngsters to shame when it comes to health, according to a new survey by health club chain Fitness First.
Baby boomers – those born after the Second World War unti the mid-60s, are eating more sensibly than their children or grandchildren and are more careful about the amount of alcohol they consume.
They are also far more careful to avoid additives in foods than the younger generation. As a result the over-50s are healthier than people in their 30s and are also less likely to suffer stress because they have also implemented work/life balance measures.
Experts said the over-50s were realising they could lead long and healthy lives after retirement.
Dr Beckie Lang, of the Association for the Study of Obesity, said: ‘People over 50 now realise there are still opportunities for another 20, 30 or even 40 years of good quality life if they look after themselves.’ Dr Bill Bytheway, of the Open University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, said: ‘There is an element of hedonism among over-50s, which is a radical change over the past ten or 20 years.’
Last week a survey revealed that 80 per cent of wealth was now held by the over-50s.
For the Fitness First survey, more than 8,000 were questioned and divided into three groups – 18-29, 30-50 and over-50. Among the oldest volunteers, 93 per cent said they ate healthily, 84 per cent were careful about alcohol consumption and three-quarters avoided additives in food.
A total of 55 per cent were content with their body shape and nearly four in five had a good work/life balance.
In the middle group, 85 per cent watched what they ate and threequarters were cautious about drinking. Less than two-thirds kept an eye on additives. Two-thirds were happy with their work-load, but only 54 per cent were happy with their body. A close look at the figures revealed this dropped to 46 per cent for people in their 30s.
Among the youngest group, just 79 per cent ate sensibly and 69 per cent drank in moderation, while only half limited additives in their diet.
Sixty-two per cent were satisfied with their physique, and just over two-thirds of this group were happy with work/life balance.
Experts have warned that the latest generation will have shorter lives than their parents because of their poor diet and lack of exercise.
A Fitness First spokesman said: ‘It is imperative that the younger generation take heed of their elders and realise that their current lifestyle habits have a far-reaching impact on their future health and happiness.’