Baby Boomer Health Dynamics: How Are We Aging?


253 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-8635-7
DDC 614.4'2'08440971




Reviewed by Alan Belk

Alan Belk is a sessional instructor in the Philosophy Department at the
University of Guelph.


Baby Boomer Health Dynamics provides statistical support for what I
think is common knowledge, and little else. The author uses a number of
surveys to argue that as a cohort the baby boomers drink too much
(especially the wealthier ones), smoke less than their forebears,
increasingly suffer from age-related illnesses, generally have less than
ideal diets, eat out rather than prepare healthy meals at home, and
visit physicians in greater numbers and with greater frequency.

The baby boomer cohort is larger than that which preceded it. As
boomers age, they will place greater demands on the health-care system.
There are issues around who pays for health care, who determines what
care should be provided as opposed to what care is demanded, and what
sort of balance there should be in terms of resource allocation between
proactive and reactive health care. Unfortunately, Wister fails to
address these issues.

The unstated message of this book is that by prolonging the lives of
the baby boomers (by whatever means) we have set ourselves up for
massive societal costs and a bonanza for the “healing” factions of
the health-care omnibus as the boomers’ aging bodies and minds
inevitably deteriorate.


Wister, Andrew V., “Baby Boomer Health Dynamics: How Are We Aging?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,