Why Are Millennials Unhealthier Than Their Parents?


A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that adults age 30 are so unhealthy they are like their parents or grandparents were at age 45. They are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes. They are 20% more likely to be obese, and women in their 20s are twice as likely to be obese. One-third of those ages 16 to 27 years old are overweight or obese.

The stress levels of millennials are higher than other generations. The American Psychological Association report from February found that all age groups except Millennials report that their stress levels are decreasing.

Why are millennials so unhealthy and stressed out? There are likely multiple reasons. Millennials came of age to discover there were few jobs available. While the unemployment rate nationwide is officially around 7.7%, for millennials it is more than double, 16.2%.

Unable to work, many are stuck still living with their parents, or in less than ideal roommate situations with little money. It's not easy to exercise or eat healthy when you're either struggling to make ends meet or stuck vegetating at your parents' home.

Millennials have more stress hanging over their heads about the country's dire financial situation and the fact there will be no Social Security left for them. The number one source of stress for millennials is work, with 76% reporting stress over it.

Seventy-three percent report stress over money. Millennials are graduating from college with huge amounts of debt. People in their 20s are carrying around an average of $45,000 in debt, mostly from college and graduate school.

Millennials are more likely to live in a large city and drive everywhere or take public transportation instead of walking. The decrease in walking has no doubt contributed to the obesity increase.

A highly computer literate generation, millennials are spending more time than ever on their laptops, smartphones and video games. The shopping malls are deserted on the weekends; instead of walking around the shops, millennials are at home or at Starbucks glued to the internet.

Millennials grew up with fast food almost a necessity if raised by a single working parent. Their eating habits have been described as driven by "cravings, cost and convenience." 

The good news is millennials don't consider McDonald's one of their top ten favorite restaurants. Since 2007, there has been a 12% decline in millennials' trips to fast-food restaurants. There has been a decrease in smoking among the younger generation. Perhaps millennials are switching from smoking to snacking more.

What should millennials do to break this cycle? Support a president who can turn the country around economically, and who will stop increasing the nation's debt on spending we cannot afford. Millennials voted in high numbers for Obama and he has done nothing for them but continue their unemployment and add to their collective debt. Around 60% of millennials voted for Obama in 2012. Most millennials will not even be able to afford Obamacare; they're lucky if they're still able to be carried on their parents' healthcare plans.

Millennials also need to support traditional values and morals. Twenty-five percent of millennials were raised in single parent households, and having experienced the difficulties and tight finances that come with that kind of a situation, should want better for their own children. The poor state of millennials' health can be traced in part directly to Obama's leadership and liberal values, and if they don't believe this, they can continue electing liberal leaders and watch their health continue to deteriorate.