barely a babyboomer

Baby Boomers are generally defined as those who were born between 1945 and 1964. Being born 1963 means that I barely made it into this demographic. Since I rarely identify myself as a boomer I tend to ignore any news or studies that relate to this age group. That is until today…..

As I was driving to the gym, I heard an interesting statement on public radio.  Apparently, those in the know are projecting that those of us who were born between 1958 and 1964 will pay 25% of our medical costs out of pocket after retirement. Take a moment and let that sink in. TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT!

After hearing this, I began to think about what many of us who were born during that six year time period will end up paying. So I googled baby boomers and healthcare and came across this report from the American Hospital Association and the FCG.

Here’s a few highlights of what you may have to spend your hard earned retirement savings on:

By 2030:

  • More than six of every 10 Boomers will be managing more than one or more chronic condition such as hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
  • More than one out of every three Boomers – over 21 million – will be considered obese.
  • One of every four Boomers – 14 million – will be living with diabetes.
  • Nearly one out of every two Boomers – more than 26 million – will be living with arthritis.
  • Eight times more knee replacements will be performed than today.

I’ve often said that you will have to pay to take care of yourself one way or another. You either pay now by choosing a healthy lifestyle or you’ll pay for medical care later. And, according to the report I heard today you may end up paying 25% of your health care costs after retirement.

So let’s do a little bit of math…….

According to Google, we are paying the following costs today:

  • The average cost to traditional health insurers for the first 90 days following a heart attack is $38,501. If you have to pay 25% of that out of pocket your cost will be $9625.25.
  • People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year. If you have to pay 25% of that out of pocket your cost will be $3,425.00.
  • Obese people spend 42% more on healthcare costs than healthyweight people.

And, you know what? These costs will only continue to skyrocket as we age.

Now me, I’m almost 52 and rather than figuring out what I’ll have to give up to pay my medical bills when the time comes, I’d rather be thinking about what I can do today to prevent these diseases in my life. I’d rather spend my money now on good food, gym memberships, along with toys like paddle boards and bicycles than pay doctor’s bills later.

And, let’s not forget about time. I’d rather be having fun today enjoying a good meal or kayaking across the waves than spend hours waiting to see my doctor or hear about my lab reports.

What about you?

More on Diet Sodas

Mark Hyman, MDI’d like to quote a passage from The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.

If you are thinking that diet soft drinks are the answer, think again. Diet drink consumption has increased 400 percent since 1960. They may or may not cause cancer, but the evidence is mounting that they lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Those who consume diet drinks regularly have a 200 percent increased risk of weight gain, a 36 percent increased risk of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and a 67 percent increased risk of diabetes. A study of over 400 people found that those who drank two diet sodas a day had five times the increase in waist circumference as those who did not drink soda.Seems you can’t outsmart Mother Nature….

If you would like to read more from Dr. Hyman, please click on the picture to purchase the book from Amazon.

Instead of reaching for that diet soda, try adding a fresh peach to a pitcher of green tea!

Remember this…..

In my personal opinion this was the absolutely worst drink ever produced on the planet. But I drank it anyway because I was young and believed the lie it told  through advertising. And that lie was that I could drink sodas and be skinny. (You might also remember that these were the days of Virginia Slims…..)

And many still believe this lie. So for the next several days I’m going to be posting links along with my own thoughts about diet drinks…

Before you read the following article, please take a moment and think about the verses below and ask God to reveal the truth to you about these products that will set you free!

You are of your father the devil……… Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father oflies. John 8:44

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32

 

Is there a link between diet soda and heart disease?

 

 

 

I’m a big fan of diet soda. I like the taste, and I love that it doesn’t have any calories. I can drink two or three diet sodas a day and not worry about gaining weight. But a new study has me wondering if enjoying the sweetness of soda without the sugar and calories is such a good thing after all.

 

University of Miami and Columbia University researchers followed roughly 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years. All of the study volunteers were over age 40 and had never had a stroke. At the start of the study, each participant indicated her or his diet soda intake as “none” (less than 1 per month), “light” (1 diet soda a month to 6 diet sodas a week), or “daily” (1 or more a day). Each year, researchers contacted participants by phone to ask them about changes in risk factors and medications, as well as any health problems and hospitalizations that may have occurred.

 

At the end of 10 years, the daily diet soda drinkers were more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack, or to have died from vascular disease. The increased risk remained even after study investigators accounted for smoking, exercise, weight, sodium intake, high cholesterol, and other factors that could have contributed to the difference. The results were published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

 

Both regular and diet soft drinks were linked with certain, but separate, cardiovascular disease risk factors. In this study, frequent diet soda drinkers were more likely to be former smokers and have higher blood sugar, high blood pressure, and, ironically, larger waistlines. They were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome. That’s the name for a cluster of risk factors—high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels—that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Folks who drank regular soda were more likely to smoke and eat more carbohydrates, but were less likely to have diabetes or high cholesterol.

 

A study such as this one can only hint at an association between diet soda and cardiovascular risk. It can’t pinpoint a cause and effect. But it’s not the first to implicate diet soda as a cardiovascular risk factor. A report from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that people who drank diet soda every day had a 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater risk of developing diabetes. Both of these conditions greatly raise the odds of having a stroke or heart attack. It’s a little surprising that diet soda drinkers were more like to develop two particular components of metabolic syndrome: larger waistlines and higher fasting glucose levels (results consistent with the New York study results).

 

So far, research on diet soda’s relationship to cardiovascular disease raises more questions than it answers. For example, do people who drink a lot of diet soda have other behaviors or conditions that independently increase their risk of cardiovascular disease? We also don’t have a good understanding of the biological effects of artificial sweeteners (see this Harvard Health Letter article for more on this topic). Manufacturers use a variety of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks, and surely new ones will come on the market. So it is difficult to tease out the effects of a particular sweetener—or beverage for that matter, because a range of drinks come in sugar-free form, not just soda.

 

Sometimes making a healthful choice is a slam dunk. Quitting smoking and exercising more are very good for you. There’s no debate about that. Other times it’s a tougher call. Surely, no one needs to consume soft drinks of any kind. But is it a problem to do so?

 

My husband gently (but persistently) tells me there is nothing good about drinking diet soda, not even the taste I claim to enjoy so much. The evidence seems to back him up. For me, I have realized (time and again) that I just feel better when I don’t drink diet soda. When I make the effort, I’m reminded how much I enjoy other beverages such as carbonated water or iced tea.

 

Wish me luck as I once again try to get off diet soda.

 

Posted February 21, 2012, 12:36 pm

Nancy Ferrari, Senior editor, Harvard Health