Obesity is America’s number one health problem. It commonly leads to diabetes, Type 2, heart disease, kidney disease, and sometimes cancer.
According to a recent report quoted by the New York Times, obese citizens spend about 42% more per year on health care than normal-weight Americans.
“Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control, said.
If obesity is driving up health care costs, what can we do about it? Ask doctors to charge less? Make the drug
companies provide free diabetes medicines and diet pills to obese people? Ask the insurance companies to provide their services for free?
Maybe we could nationalize the whole health care system and force all American taxpayers share the cost equally of caring for these unfortunate Americans who are the victims of…what? The restaurant industry! That’s it! Fast food and Doritos did it to them! Lays potato chips: “Bet you can’t have just one!” They dared these poor souls to become addicted to their deadly products–and it worked!.
I’m sorry. I’m being ridiculous to make a point. My point is, our health care system is buckling under the weight of
the expensive round-about procedures we do and drugs we provide to counteract the effects of what people are doing to themselves.
Digging Our Graves With A Fork & Knife
We are a nation of food-aholics. Most of us don’t eat real foods prepared at home from fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Most of what we eat has to center around either some animal meat and fat and lots of highly refined carbohydrates. Very few vitamins and minerals are left in our food–and almost no fiber. And we wonder why we get fat , have diabetes, heart attacks, and require expensive medical care.
My medical care costs me nothing but the time it takes to do some daily exercises and eat right. Chalk
it up partially to vanity–I never wanted to let myself get overweight or suffer the diseases that plagued my family tree.
A big part of my medical care is to eat what science and my conscience tells me I should, rather than stuff that merely tastes good.
But it’s all worth it to me. I’m not pleading with the government to get me health care. Nobody had to inform me that eating too much of the wrong foods would make me sick: I figured it out on my own after reading a few good books and research reports. It wasn’t hard–and it was a benefit for me to stay well.
What would I do about the health of the American people?
The best thing the health care professionals could do is to stop coddling us. Stop treating us like imbeciles.
Tell us the truth. I suspect that if doctors and public health officials leveled with citizens and told them the
golden truth that “We all are about 97% responsible for our own health, based on what we choose to eat,” it might make an impression after a while.
It probably won’t happen, I know, because the fast-food industry and other makers of fat-food(meat packers and the dairy and sugar industries) are in control of our FDA and the US Department of Agriculture. They would scream bloody murder if the public were told the truth about how their food products are the reason our arteries are plugged up with cholesterol and why we’re growing obese.
But, the bottom line is, we don’t have to eat those foods. Nobody is forcing us to eat foods that lead to heart
attacks, breast cancer, strokes, Alzheimer’s Disease, colon cancer, etc., etc. If you don’t believe me, then read the medical research that clearly establishes the connection between what we eat and these diseases.
Did you know that there are still pockets of people who still eat traditional diets that are primarily vegetarian–and
they rarely have heart attacks. Their women very rarely get breast cancer. People of these nations live to 90 and 100 years frequently, with sharp minds, good eyesight and they continue to work in their gardens and orchards. They are respected and contributing members of their society. If we chose to eat like these people, we could reduce our need for expensive and dangerous health care.
Here’s a simple truth of economics: If there was no demand for health care because everyone was healthy, then health care would be cheap. It’s a matter of supply and demand. A lot of cardiologists standing around with no triple-bypasses to do would quickly lower their prices. That’s my answer to the high cost of health care: Get healthy!
How do you get healthy? A good starting place to help you understand what’s wrong with our typical American diet is a book by T. Colin Campbell, Jr., PhD, entitled “The China Study.”
Paul H. Kemp is a lifelong entrepreneur, writer, and amateur athlete. Hanging out with many amateur, pro, and the occasional Olympic athletes, together with extensive reading of medical research literature, have given him an insight into what high-performance athletes eat when they want optimum performance.