Unhealthy lifestyles among older adults: Exploring transitions in Mexico and the US

Rebeca Wong, Mary Beth Ofstedal, Kathryn Yount, Emily M. Agree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lifestyle risk factors are important precursors of old age disease and disability, and the population level impact of these factors likely differs across countries that vary in their economic growth and the attributes of the populations that adopt and abandon unhealthy lifestyles. This paper describes the stage of "lifestyle transition" among older adults in two countries with vastly different trajectories of socio-economic development. A series of hypotheses are proposed on the socioeconomic patterns of health risk factors that would be expected in the two countries, given their economic circumstances and the historical timing of policy interventions that were initiated to mitigate lifestyle risks in these populations. The paper compares the prevalence of smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, obesity, and lack of physical exercise, as well as the socioeconomic and demographic covariates of these risk factors, among adults aged 55 and older in Mexico and the United States. The findings indicate that smoking- and physical-activity-related transitions toward healthier lifestyles are well under way among older adults in the United States but not in Mexico, whereas a trend toward reduced levels of obesity has just begun in the United States but not in Mexico. There is no evidence of a transition in heavy alcohol drinking in either country among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Mexico
Life Style
Economic Development
Alcohol Drinking
smoking
Obesity
Smoking
alcohol
Population
physical exercise
demographic situation
old age
health risk
nicotine
economics
economic growth
disability
Economics
Demography
Exercise

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle
  • Mexico
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Unhealthy lifestyles among older adults : Exploring transitions in Mexico and the US. / Wong, Rebeca; Ofstedal, Mary Beth; Yount, Kathryn; Agree, Emily M.

In: European Journal of Ageing, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2008, p. 311-326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wong, Rebeca ; Ofstedal, Mary Beth ; Yount, Kathryn ; Agree, Emily M. / Unhealthy lifestyles among older adults : Exploring transitions in Mexico and the US. In: European Journal of Ageing. 2008 ; Vol. 5, No. 4. pp. 311-326.
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