What happened to Millenial health?

Richard A Meyer
4 min readFeb 5, 2019
  • According to the Lancet “from 1995 to 2014, there were 14,672,409 incident cases for 30 types of cancer. Incidence significantly increased for six of 12 obesity-related cancers in young adults (25–49 years) with steeper rises in successively younger generations.
  • The risk of cancer is increasing in young adults for half of the obesity-related cancers, with the increase steeper in progressively younger ages.
  • Obesity has been repeatedly linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. The World Health Organization has called obesity a “rising epidemic”, with over 1 billion adults considered obese worldwide.

Millennials were supposed to be wired into digital health but statistics don’t lie. Millennials are on track to become the most obese generation in our history.

“In adults aged 30 years and older in the USA, excess bodyweight could account for up to 60 percent of all endometrial cancers, 36 percent of gallbladder cancers, 33 percent of kidney cancers, 17 percent of pancreatic cancers, and 11 percent of multiple myelomas in 2014,” Lancet said.

Obesity rates have been rising across age groups for years. According to the latest federal numbers, almost 36% of American adults ages 20–39 are obese, and that number may soon be even higher. Recent research suggests that if obesity trends continue, 57% of children in the U.S. will be obese by the time they turn 35.

Excess weight may promote cancer in several ways. It can increase inflammation, which is a risk factor for a number of chronic conditions and has been found to fuel cancer cell growth. Obesity may also alter levels of sex and growth hormones, as well as insulin, which can spark growth factors that allow cancer cells to proliferate. And some fattening foods, such as processed meats and snacks, have been independently linked to cancer risk.

Why are Millennials so unhealthy?

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 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.”

Millennials spend far more on food than older generations. Indeed, they drop an average of $797 per month on groceries, compared to $724 for those 37 and older, according to data by Bankrate. And they spend $233 on both dine-in and take out meals, versus $182 for older generations.

Some of the reason for the higher spending is that millennials eat out — either by dining at the restaurant or getting takeout — nearly five times a week, according to a study released by Bankrate. That’s compared to an average of just 3.4 times per week for Gen Xers and 2.5 for Boomers, the study found.

While the hype of digital health is still being promoted the generation that should be using digital health the most seems to be throwing cold water on the promise of digitl health for better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

Originally published at worldofdtcmarketing.com on February 5, 2019.



Richard A Meyer

Marketing and Political thought leader — Writer- Audiophile