Millennials may be the first generation less healthy than their parents

For Millennials, distress about securing good jobs and housing is causing long-term negative health effects. According to a new report from The Health Foundation, Millennials in the U.K. may grow up the first generation to be less healthy than their parents by the time they reach middle age.

Millennials surveyed said they were anxious about job prospects and finding affordable housing. The report found that one in five adults had experienced “issues such as long-term stress, anxiety, and depression due to a housing problem.”

“This matters because these building blocks – a place to call home, secure and rewarding work, and supportive relationships with their friends, family, and community – are the foundations of a healthy life,” the report warned. “The gains made as a society in improving the health of previous generations may well be eroded by the precariousness and instability of the lives some young people are facing.”

Stress about job insecurity leads to unhealthy bodies when you’re older

Not only are Millennials having trouble finding an affordable home, they are also having trouble finding a good job. More than half of the Millennials ages 22-26 said that it was difficult for people their age to “secure fairly paid work.”

When you cannot build a secure foundation of a career in your early years of working, you may set yourself up for health failures later on. The report said that a lack of good quality work was likely to trigger distress and lead to more unhealthy behaviors like smoking and alcohol consumption.

Overall, the report was a call to action. When a society fails its youth now, it will pay for it later.

“The long-term health of the population is one of the greatest assets our country holds. The decline of this asset should concern us all,” the report concluded. “When today’s young people enter middle age without the fundamentals needed for a healthy life, society may regret not having taken action sooner.”