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U.S. Millennials Believe They Are Healthy Despite Bad Habits That Lead to Chronic Illness, According to Life University Survey


1,000 Millennials Surveyed on Medication, Healthcare Reform and Wellness

MARIETTA, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to Life University, a leading chiropractic college and vital health university, Millennials (ages 15-27), are overly optimistic about their own health, despite admitting to the same unhealthy habits that have caused chronic illness in previous generations.

"The national healthcare debate has triggered endless discussions about cost and access, but very little dialogue about whether the system promotes sustainable health"

On a scale of 1-10, a vast majority (84%) rate their own health higher than a seven and more than a third (38%) rate their health as high as a nine or ten. Millennials also believe that they are healthier than other generations - one in four say they are healthier than their parents now and 61 percent think they will be healthier when they are their parents' age than their parents are today.

However, even though Millennials think they are healthy, their actual habits predict otherwise. More than half (58%) say they eat junk food several times a week, 50 percent drink soda regularly, 50 percent do not get enough sleep, 44 percent do not exercise on a regular basis, 17 percent smoke cigarettes frequently, 13 percent have unhealthy relationships and six percent drink too much alcohol several times a week.

"The national healthcare debate has triggered endless discussions about cost and access, but very little dialogue about whether the system promotes sustainable health," said Dr. Guy Riekeman, co-author of the Millennial survey and President of Life University.

"Millennials believe they are the healthiest generation, but the reality is that they are no different from their parents. Both age groups have a quick-fix mentality towards health that's been reinforced by our country's policies. If Millennials want to avoid the same diseases that are beginning to harm their parents, they must adopt habits that support prevention and wellness. Perhaps then their children will understand what it really means to be healthy."

These findings are from the first annual edition of Millennial Myopia: What Young Americans Don't Know About Healthcare, a survey examining the opinions of 1,000 Millennials, defined as ages 15-27, spread evenly across the country, on health, wellness and healthcare reform.

Below are some of the major findings from Millennial Myopia: What Young Americans Don't Know About Healthcare:

* The Depressed Generation? Nearly one third (28%) of Millennials take medication on a regular basis and 23 percent of those that take medication regularly are on anti-depressants, which was the third most popular drug behind allergy medications and birth control. Twenty percent of Millennials, and 40 percent of Millennials taking medication regularly, think that their life is moving in the wrong direction.

* Millennials Accountable on Healthcare. Thirty-nine percent of Millennials blame insurance companies for the problems with the U.S. healthcare system, while 32 percent blame the federal government. Regardless, 50 percent believe that it is the government's responsibility to fix the system and only 20 percent look to the insurance industry. The vast majority (85%) of Millennials agree that individual U.S. citizens have a responsibility to improve healthcare by practicing healthier habits. Half (50%) agree strongly with this statement.

* Bad Relationships Coincide with Poor Health. Thirteen percent of Millennials regularly spend time in unhealthy relationships. Those that do are more likely to rate their health below a seven, have a higher incidence of unhealthy behaviors and are more likely to take medication. More than half (57%) of Millennials who are in unhealthy relationships and who take medication on a regular basis, believe that they are overmedicated.

* Women Are Hard on Themselves. Women place a higher level of importance on factors for good health than men do: nutrition (84% v. 74%), regular exercise (71% v. 67%), positive personal relationships (68% v. 57%), and preventative care (65% v. 51% percent). Despite knowing what it takes to be healthy, fewer women rate their health a 9 or 10 and they are more likely to let outside factors, such as financial pressure, family commitments and time restraints impact their decisions.

* Primary Care Doctors, Parents Greatly Influence Millennial Health. Most (64%) say primary care doctors have the most influence on their heath decisions, followed closely by their parents (60%).

* Prevalence of Chiropractic. Twelve percent of Millennials say that they have visited a chiropractor within the last year. Older respondents, those who rate their health a 9-10 and women are more likely to see a chiropractor. Of those who see a chiropractor, most (75%) do so for back pain, but a sizable group (40%) see a chiropractor for preventative care. Sixty percent say that alternative care practitioners have some influence over their health decisions, 18% of which say that impact is a major one.

Millennial Myopia: What Young Americans Don't Know About Healthcare is a national telephone and online survey conducted by The OSR Group., an independent market research firm, whose interviewers surveyed 1,000 Millennials (defined as ages 15-27), using a telephone (600) and online (400) survey conducted within a scientifically-developed, pure random and evenly spread sample.

About Life University: Life University, is a leading institution of higher education nationally recognized for its innovative chiropractic college and commitment to providing a high-quality undergraduate and graduate healthcare education. As the number one vitalistic healthcare institution in the world, Life University offers eleven specialized undergraduate program degrees, with defined pre-professional tracks in the realm of natural and vital health including an accelerated pre-chiropractic college program, graduate programs in sport health science and nutrition and a doctorate program in chiropractic. Life University also has innovative programs in biology, biopsychology, business administration, computer information management, dietetics, life coaching and psychology studies.

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