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New Age of Aging: Key Survey Findings

Published April 1, 2004

Key Survey Findings

On Aging

  • 40% of Boomers (ages 38 to 56) describe themselves as “very” or “somewhat” concerned about getting older, versus 33% of Matures (ages 57+)
  • 28% of Boomers “strongly agree” that “My generation is under more pressure to remain attractive as we age that my parents’ generation was”, versus 16% of Matures. Yet, just 11% of Boomers say, “I look better than my parents did when they were my age,” on par with Matures.
  • 89% of Boomers have done some activity to fight getting older vs. 93 percent of Matures
    • 31 percent of Boomers have colored gray hair vs. 22 percent of Matures
    • 42 percent of Boomers have “dieted to lose weight” vs. 35 percent of Matures
    • 67 percent of Boomers have “eaten healthier foods”; 57 percent have taken vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements.
    • 43 percent of Boomers prefer “eating and doing whatever you want and having 10 more years to live” than “being on a strict diet and living as long as you want,” vs. 52 percent of Matures

On Health

  • 86 percent of Boomers have made some changes to their diet in the past year vs. 81 percent of Matures
    • 57 percent of Boomers have eaten more fruits and vegetables
    • 47 percent of Boomers have reduced the use of fats and oils
    • 46 percent of Boomers have eaten more foods with fiber such as oatmeal and whole grain bread
    • 44 percent of Boomers have taken vitamins, minerals or daily supplements
    • 35 percent of have eaten less red meat vs. 44 percent of Matures
    • 34 percent have eaten more foods that reduce cholesterol vs. 43 percent of Matures
    • 24 percent of Boomers have reduced their alcohol intake vs. 17 percent of Matures
  • 51 percent of Boomers agree that “I realize that I should be eating healthier food, but I’m not” vs. 37 percent of Matures. Why?
    • 17 percent of Boomers say they’re not disciplined enough
    • 16 percent of Boomers say healthy food doesn’t taste as good
    • 12 percent of Boomers say they don’t have time to eat healthier food

On Motivations to Change

  • 32 percent of Boomers, when asked what would motivate them to make changes in their diet, said “being diagnosed with a medical condition/disease” vs. 25 percent of Matures
  • 17 percent of Boomers said a doctor’s advice would motivate them to change their diet.
  • 12 percent of Boomers say becoming overweight would motivate them to change their diet vs. 7 percent of Matures.
  • 55 percent of Boomers are “very confident” in their ability to manage their own health concerns as they get older vs. 62 percent of Matures.

On Boomers’ Experiences in the Past Five Years

  • 39 percent changed employment
  • 23 percent experienced the death of a parent
  • 22 percent became a grandparent
  • 18 percent survived a serious medical condition
  • 15 percent provided childcare to parents or grandchildren on a regular basis
  • 13 percent had the last of their children move out
  • 12 percent had an adult child move back home
  • 9 percent had children
  • 8 percent divorced
  • 7 percent retired
  • 5 percent remarried
  • 3 percent got married for the first time

Opinion Research Corp. conducted telephone interviews of 1,035 respondents – 515 Boomers and 520 Matures.