Everyone south of the 49th parallel (aka in the USA) seems to be caught up in the race for the White House right now and not surprisingly, health care is a big issue of concern.
Millions of Americans are without decent health care coverage. I know from speaking to several of friends and relatives, a sickness can cause financial disaster for many Americans.
The National Vital Statistics Reports through the Center for Disease Control has a great article on mortality rates from the most recent full collection year (2009) that shows the top 15 causes of death in the States. From the top 15 causes, 6 can be directly linked to exercise and even more to diet.
Why is this important? Well, think about it. If people would take more control of their diet and exercise as prevention for disease, does it not seem logical that the money that goes into health care could be used for many other things?
Obesity is at an all time high, again, but there really isn’t an answer for the problem. Sure there is a lot of lip service from governments, but when you consider who cheap it is to feed a family processed, pre packaged food compared to healthy meals…I can understand the issue. If you aren’t committed to a healthy lifestyle, people will make the sacrifice of good nutrition over convenience.
Cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, liver disease, kidney failure… they can all be impacted by lack of exercise and poor nutrition.
There is no substitute in my mind for exercise and nutrition to combat disease and with obesity the way it is, shouldn’t governments do more to work and promote prevention. Remember the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
In Ontario, a controversial paper was released by the Ontario Medical Association, which made some excellent recommendations including considering a higher tax on foods that can be classed as unhealthy, lowering the tax on healthy foods and placing graphic labels on foods that have no real nutritional value.
I know in many other places a fat tax has been thrown around, but this was great to see coming from those people that we should be able to trust the most with our health and health advisement.
Do you think the governments will listen?
A daily brisk walk, adding a healthy salad for dinner and ensuring you get water and sleep into your lifestyle are certainly worth preventing a week long stay in a hospital bed and those are all easy fixes to a crappy lifestyle
So come on everyone… do your part, join an exercise program, eat great, healthy food and change the conversation.
Food for thought.