Millennials Are Less Healthy than They Think, Study Finds

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. perceive / pərˈsiv / (v) – to consider or think of something or someone in a particular way

    The students often perceive their health instructor as a very strict person.

  2. optimal / ˈɒp tə məl / (adj) – being at the most desirable or best state

    Asthma patients with optimal levels of physical activity find it easier to control their symptoms.

  3. surge / sɜrdʒ / (v) – to suddenly increase to a high level

    The number of patients seeking help for mental health problems surged this year.

  4. prevalent / ˈprɛv ə lənt / (adj) – common and widespread

    Excessive social media use is prevalent among teenagers nowadays.

  5. isolation / ˌaɪ səˈleɪ ʃən / (n) – the state of being separate from other people

    Spending too much time on social media without talking to anyone can give you feelings of isolation.


Read the text below.

A new report has revealed that millennials, or people born between 1981 and 1996, are not as healthy as they perceive themselves to be.

The report was published by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association. The association analyzed data from 55 million privately insured millennials in the United States. Their findings showed that 83% of millennials consider themselves to be in optimal health. In fact, statistics show that many millennials engage in various health and wellness activities, including yoga and meditation. However, the study found that the rates of several health problems common among American millennials had surged from 2014 to 2017.

Through this study, the researchers were able to identify the top 10 health conditions affecting millennials. Four of these are physical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. The remaining six are behavioral conditions, which usually affect mental and emotional health, as well. These behavioral conditions became more prevalent among millennials with results showing a 31% increase in depression and a 29% rise in hyperactivity from 2014 to 2017.

According to the BCBS Association’s representatives, feelings of isolation in the digital age possibly contributed to increased behavioral health conditions among millennials, as human contact continues to decrease because of social media.

Following this report, an expert who is not related to the association commented about the results. Doctor Aaron Friedberg from Ohio said the report implies that future generations can possibly have shorter lifespans.

To address this problem, the BCBS Association emphasized that access to treatments for these conditions must be increased. The organization also stressed the importance of having more professionals who specialize on behavioral health.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that the findings of the study may also apply to millennials from other countries? Why or why not?
• Based on the article, what do you think can help millennials improve their behavioral health? Discuss.

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what are the benefits of conducting studies on the health of a particular generation (e.g. millennials)? Discuss.
• How do you think this study’s result may be useful to future generations? Discuss.