With the issues surrounding the roll out of the ObamaCare website, talk is turning back toward single payer, national health care. Those debates can get pretty heated, and misinformation runs rampant on both sides of the argument. However, I am not going to discuss politics or the pros and cons of ObamaCare, The Affordable Care Act, or single payer, universal health care. That is out of everyone’s control. Besides, our system really isn’t about healthcare, it is about sickcare and in the United States, we do it better than anyone — that is both getting sick and treating the sickness.
What I would like to discuss is one of the major risk factors to our health, one major risk that we, ourselves, can actually control – obesity.
I heard on the news that obesity (I believe they stated specifically childhood obesity) was a complex problem, one that does not have simple solutions.
Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)
Okay, let’s examine this ludicrous statement. Generally speaking, unless a person has an underlying medical or hormonal condition, there is no reason for one to be overweight or obese. I am sorry to burst many people’s excuse-seeking bubbles but that is a fact.
We control our bodies.
We control what goes in.
We control the amount of exercise we put out.
The problem is not complex: it is too much sugar, too much high fructose corn syrup, too much processed fast foods, not enough lean proteins, not enough fresh raw vegetables and not enough getting from behind the computer and moving.
The solution itself is also simple: cut the sugar, cut out the high fructose corn syrup, get rid of the highly processed refined garbage Americans are shoveling down their gullets and replace them with lean proteins, raw fresh vegetables, healthy fats, low glycemic fruits and get up and get moving.
Today we have more obese people in the United States than those who are simply overweight.
This is a real problem
This problem will lead to real diseases.
The morbidly obese are going to stress the U.S. health care system to a degree that not all the private or public health insurance money will be able to handle.
A local school district was given a grant from the State Education Department to fight childhood obesity. I don’t know why they needed $5,000. I will tell them how to do it for half that. Has anyone ever seen school menus today? While healthy options are available, there is still plenty of sugar laden and processed junk on the menu. Side note: if your school still has soda machines, get ’em out.
Physical education must be a five-day-a-week class and a regimented exercise program is a necessity. We need to teach children fitness as a lifestyle from their earliest and most formative years. I will even come in and design it.
My good friend, the Yonk, at his highly influential blog The Lu Lac Political Letter, mentioned how a company had an incentive program for its employees. The employees were paid for taking steps to be responsible for their own wellness. Sounds like a good plan, but what passes for dietary guidelines and exercise plans really do very little for the morbidly obese. Again, I can design the program and then I will make sure people stick to it. If you want to pay people to take care of themselves okay, but give them the guidance and the accountability to stick to it.
I remember in the mid 1980′s when HMOs and PPOs first started, one of the great parts about my plan was that my gym membership was paid in full by the health insurance company. I used that membership. However, I knew many who joined, but then were out of the gym within a month. The result was that the good intentions of helping their insured get fit, ended up just costing the insurance company more money than it saved and they changed the benefit to a discount and then eventually did away with it.
Image via Wikipedia
In the United States, we are focused on our healthcare crisis. We are trying to figure out how to pay for care. The reality is that we must stop focusing solely on the “care” part of health care and start putting an emphasis on “health.”
Unless we act today, for some, tomorrow may be very bleak.
Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,
************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************