How Healthy is Our Generation? The Answer is Surprising...

September 18th 2014

Lindsay Haskell

Good news for our generation's health but maybe not for our wallets. A new survey found that millennials anticipate spending more money on fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic food in the near future, steering away from unhealthier options such as soda.

This trend is also evident by the growing number of households and communities starting their own gardens - 42 million to be exact, which is a 17% increase from just five years ago. Millennials in particular are leading this movement, with the number of gardeners aged 18 to 34 increasing from 8 million in 2008 to 13 million in 2013. Even in urban areas - where it is often more difficult, not to mention more expensive, to access fresh fruit and vegetables - there has been an increase in self-growing. And when it comes to grocery shopping, Millennials value natural and organic products over specific brand names or retailers. 

While the cost of organic food might seem daunting in the short-term (yes, Whole Foods is called "Whole Paycheck" for a reason), it might very well save us (and America) money in the long-term, helping curb the pre-diabetes and diabetes epidemic. Nearly half of adults have either pre-diabetes or diabetes, But research has found that in areas where food markets with fresh produce outnumber convenience stores that do not, residents have lower rates of diet-related diseases.

As our generation's spending power grows, grocery stores will have to start catering to our desires for fresh, high-quality foods, instead of relying on name recognition.

Considering that diabetes is the seventh most common cause of death in the U.S. and cuts roughly 8.5 years off a 50-year-old's lifespan, our spending habits could prove a long term boon for America because diabetes currently costs our nation $245 billion annually.