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Healthy Aging: We Can Do Better

by Pam Hayle January 31, 2016

I try to share positive perspectives on aging and other age-friendly information in this e-Bulletin. Perhaps it is the cloudy weather or post-holiday blues, but my attention was pulled this week to some rather alarming health statistics for older adults in Minnesota.

These are three areas I was surprised we do NOT excel at:

Obesity (defined as body mass index (BMI >= 30.0) - Target less than 30.6 percent (Source: CDC 2013)

        - Age 50-64 - 31.2 percent are obese
        - Age 65 and older - 24.8 percent are obese

Binge Drinking in the last 30 days - Target less than 24.3 percent (source:  Administration on Aging)

        - Age 50-64 - 20.5 percent compared to 16.8 percent nationally 
        - Age 65 and older - 8.4 percent compared to 7.1 nationally 

Smoking - The CDC sets a target of less than 12% of population smoking (source: CDC Healthy Aging Data)

        - Age 50-64 - 15.8 percent 
        - Age 65 and older - 8.4 percent

I interact everyday with older adults of various ages who are avid, health-conscious people-people not only working at being healthy but proud of it and excelling at it. Perhaps VAN needs to have the CDC audit our network where healthy lifestyles are embraced and celebrated.

So my positive note to all of you is: Congratulations on being healthy older adults in Minnesota, and keep spreading the news about health and wellness in our state.




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