Baby Boomers believe their generation is the healthiest

Nearly half the people surveyed (45 percent) including Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers – named their own generation as the healthiest, followed by their parents’ generation (32 percent) and the younger generation (23 percent) according to the Aetna “what’s your healthy?” study, a survey of 1,800 Americans ages 25-64 conducted online this spring by Harris Interactive.Aetna

The study is a part of Aetna’s “what’s your healthy?” national marketing and advertising campaign. The campaign includes an interactive website,, where people can share their unique definitions of what being healthy means to them. This concept looks a lot like Pfizer’s ‘Get Old‘ website.

There are some interesting generational differences in attitudes to health:

  • 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).
  • Asked if being healthy means good eating habits, the following agreed: 24 percent of Millennials, 14 percent of Generation X, and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • Asked if it meant regular physical activity, the following agreed: 22 percent of Millennials, 14 percent of Generation X, and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • 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).