Friday, August 10, 2007

Research Misused and Abused

The folks at Eons issued a press release about an online survey they did among their "members" with the headline:

Eons Fitness Survey Shows Boomers Haven't Lost a Step in Their Quest for the Fittest Life Possible. The Generation That Founded the Fitness Craze Remains Active, Healthy and Fit, Survey Shows

Sounds great and encouraging. But it isn't true at all.

That's because it's not a valid study of "Boomers" at all (despite the headline). In fact, while they say that it is a survey among their members, they never say that the results are not indicative of how Boomers on the whole might think, feel or behave.

In fact, the real truth about all Boomers, according to legitimate research, from the CDC's annual Health, United States, 2006, shows the opposite to be true -- Boomers are on the whole not in good health and aren't taking care of themselves. And they don't exercise.

Acccording to the CDC, 7 out of 10 Boomers are overweight, and as we reported back in February in our Boomer Project newsletter:

While data for the specific ages of Boomers in 2006 (ages 42-60) isn't readily available, we can look at the 45-64 age segment as a substitute. It doesn't paint a pretty picture.

First off, among those ages 45-64 in 2006, would you believe 65% said they never get 10 minutes of physical exercise that gets the heart rate up. Some 22% report that they get that kind of physical exercise 3+ times a week, and 13% fall in-between.

It follows, then, that among those ages 45-64, 69% are considered overweight or obese based on their Body Mass Index, or BMI. Only 30% have a healthy BMI and 1% are underweight by that measure.

The lesson in all this is that there is legitimate consumer research and there is illegitimate research palmed off on an unsuspecting public as legit.

Needless to say, this burns us up. So much so, it's the topic of Chapter 14 in our book.

Please, people, let's be careful out there.

1 comment:

Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.