To Digress - The Health Care Crisis and Individual Choices

I have followed with interest the news stories regarding the current ‘health care crisis.’ Some examples of the better articles are here, here, here, and here.

Efforts to blame some group or the other abound. But I blame us.

If we all lost some weight there would be a clear reduction in the health care costs currently experienced. The same is true for smoking, alcohol / drug abuse, high salt diets, not exercising, etc. One article makes it clear:

If people would just do four things -- engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy diet, not smoke and avoid becoming obese -- they could slash their risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke or cancer by 80%, a new report has found.

But less than 10% of the 23,153 people in the multi-year study --
published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine -- actually lived their lives this way.

Like it or not, our lifestyle choices are fueling the medical care crisis. It’s our fault. There must be some individual responsibility, or we will never get out of this mess.

The situation we face is largely brought on by a form of ‘welfare mentality.’ We want to make foolish choices and avoid the consequences by running to our doctors and having our health insurance foot the bill.

Grow up, America!

Now, off to Snap Fitness before my friends point out how hypocritical I am.


Anonymous said...


You are right. It would go along way to cleaning up the mess, if we could all get on the bandwagon.

I stand guilty as charged.

I'll go for a walk today, that would be a start...for me.

Steve Newell said...

There are some larger issues: healthy food is more expensive than junk food, government food programs don't allow poor people to buy fresh food, and advertising (when as the last time you saw an add for apples compared to french fries).

Also we don't design many neighborhoods for walking. I am fortunite since I live in a neighborhood with many lighted sidewalks but I know that this is not the norm.

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