Health is wealth

According to the latest 20 year study by JAMA “Overall, the United States fell in the rankings between 1990 and 2010 on nearly every major health measure.” Poor diet, tobacco and substance abuse, obesity and high blood pressure are all symptoms of a rich society, where people do not make the hard choices to stay healthy. We all know what to eat, and that we need to do 150 total minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, to help us live to a ripe old age. Money spent on health care has skyrocketed; and will continue to do so, as baby boomers enter the last phase of their lives. We will continue to increasingly use our taxes; to pay for the poor life choices that couch potatoes snacking on unhealthy foods and drinks make. They will continue to lose their health and their sanity, surrounded by a cornucopia of plenty. Disabilities mental or physical will continue to grow, if the choices for entertainment remain a TV, computer, movie, spectator sports or a family gathering for an all you can eat feast. Each one of us has to learn to say no to that second helping, or desert, or the high caloric drink, and take that 20 minute brisk walk. Life expectancy has risen to 78 yet our hospitals and elderly care facilities are filled with folks; who have life debilitating conditions that could have been avoided, by just a simple lifestyle change. It may be glorious to be rich; but it is even more fabulous to be healthy, to enjoy the long productive years that modern living will provide. It is not easy to lose weight or change our life style; but in an increasingly knowledgeable world, we should make it harder to stay on a path that will lead to years of disability instead of a healthy life. Incentives need to change as society has to make an effort to encourage people to make the right choices; we should all learn that prevention is worth far more than the cure, that our leading research and development can provide. Eat healthy, exercise, keep an active mind, participate in open social dialog, for better health with lower costs and a more fulfilling life.

2 thoughts on “Health is wealth

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