Results from a new study reveal that American adults of all ages – Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers – feel that their own generation is the healthiest. Nearly half the people surveyed (45 percent) named their own generation as the healthiest, followed by their parents’ generation (32 percent) and the younger generation (23 percent). The findings come from the Aetna (NYSE: AET) “what’s your healthy?” study, a survey of 1,800 Americans ages 25-64 conducted online this spring by Harris Interactive. The study is a part of Aetna’s “what’s your healthy?” national marketing and advertising campaign. The campaign includes an interactive website, www.WhatsYourHealthy.com, where people can share their unique definitions of what being healthy means to them. Other generational differences include:
- Almost twice as many Baby Boomers (23 percent), who are ages 49-64, define being healthy as getting recommended screenings or checkups, compared to both GenXers (ages 37-48) and Millennials (ages 25-36). A much higher percentage of Millennials define being healthy as having good eating habits (24 percent) and regular physical activity (22 percent), compared with the older generations.
- Millennials are far more likely than other age groups to reach for alcohol when stressed - 37 percent agree that they often do so. Both GenXers and Millennials also tend to snack on unhealthy food when dealing with stress (48 percent and 51 percent) more frequently than Baby Boomers.
- Baby Boomers are less self-conscious and look at the big picture. While about one-third of Millennials and GenXers want to look good in their underwear (35 percent and 32 percent), only 19 percent of Boomers consider this important. More than half of Baby Boomers (53 percent) would tell their younger selves not to “sweat the small stuff,” a higher rate than both GenXers (43 percent) and Millennials (36 percent).
Other key findings include:Weighing Weight LossA large majority of people (67 percent) believe they need to lose a considerable amount of weight – a median of 25 pounds. At the same time, more than half (54 percent) of all Americans surveyed believe they can be overweight and still be healthy. Baby Boomers are more likely than Millennials to say that “healthy” is associated with being the right weight for body type and height. Men are happier than women with their current weight and women are more likely to want to lose weight. The Healthy Gender GapIn addition to their different views on weight, men are more likely than women to define healthiness in terms of a major fitness event or goal, like a marathon. Other gender differences include:
- Upcoming events such as reunions and weddings kick-start healthier living for women more than men.
- More dads (34 percent) than moms (22 percent) see parenthood as a path to a healthier life.
- Among men who say they live healthier today than 5 years ago, 49 percent report they’re drinking less alcohol now.
- Among women who say they live healthier today than 5 years ago, 36 percent report they’re caving in less to late-night sweet cravings.
*Please credit all data to "what’s your healthy?," an Aetna survey.About AetnaAetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.