A Healthy Lifestyle – or – How Do We Rescue a Broken Healthcare System?

A Healthy Lifestyle – or – How Do We Rescue a Broken Healthcare System?

 

We all want more out of life. Whatever makes us happy is worth to pursue. For some it’s traveling or cooking and for others it’s helping those in need. Regardless of what makes us happy it can only work if we’re healthy. Those of us following a healthy lifestyle might get more out of life already. However, what I have recently discovered will affect everyone sooner or later. If you have heard about “Escape Fire” than you already know what I’m talking about. I’ll get into this in a minute.

Who Needs Healthcare?

I always thought living a healthy lifestyle is all it takes to avoid most healthcare cost. That might be true to some degree; however, there is always someone in the family who needs medical care. Whether it’s our kids with an ear infection or our parents who need elderly care; we don’t get away from healthcare cost.

  • It is not about you or me – It is about a Nation

What I didn’t know or maybe I ignored it; is the fact that our nation is as sick as a dog. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s the truth.

In my opinion the only way to treat a nations “disease” is to educate the nation itself.  It is something that has to be done on a higher level. Whether it is the government, the Media or larger corporations who take the initiative. I’m not implying one government party is better than the other or some lobbyist are to blame for the existent healthcare system.

For instance the restriction of trans fats in NY was a great program, although it did nothing to teach people to eat less fast-food. It actually had the opposite effect. However it was a step in the right direction. Many years ago the government made it mandatory to wear seat bells while driving, because it saves lives. Guess what? No one is telling the average consumer that eating everyday arteries clogging fast food is killing people, too. Nothing is done to prevent these unhealthy eating habits.

  • Healthy foods need to be made affordable

The unfortunate problem is that low-income citizens are the most vulnerable in this vicious cycle. Just take look in your local supermarket. Guess what are the cheapest foods available? Highly processed foods – Surprised?  Of course not.  We all know that fresh foods like produce, meats and fish are expensive and in most cases not affordable for low-income consumers.  Well, let’s take a look in the dry goods aisle. You’ll find everything from simple gravy to complete meals, dog cheap of course and again – highly processed – with little or no nutritional values. I’m not saying you can’t have this type of food once in a while, but for some it is the only choice, because it’s affordable.

Choosing Foods With Healthy Ingredients

The other day I observed a mother with her grown up daughter in the jam and peanut butter aisle. Both were heavily overweight. They were looking for the best deal on peanut butter. The mother took a large jar from a popular company. I knew this type of peanut butter, one I was avoiding, because it has a ton of ingredients including trans fats. So I politely pointed out to her that this type of peanut butter is not healthy and referred to the ingredients label.  She quickly brushed me off saying that the big jar was of better value to her and it doesn’t matter what’s inside. “The price is right” she said and walked off.

No wonder this nation has an obesity problem and you can’t blame the people, because their choices are limited. Peanut butter is a very healthy product, when it includes peanuts only and not corn syrup and hydrogenated oils just to mention a few.  People who consume high amounts of saturated fats have higher chances of becoming overweight. I don’t have to tell you that obesity leads to all kind of diseases, so why not avoid these type of foods all together. (But that is where the vicious circle starts again…)

  • We eat what we can afford and wonder why we gaining weight

The cycle continuous as people gain weight and become sick.  Worst of all some of us don’t even have health insurance. Regardless, have you ever realized when going to the doctor that you are being rushed through the examination process? Then you might not be the only one. The fact is that most practices set a limit about how many minutes a doctor should see its patients. There is no time for a small talk or to get to the bottom of your health problem. Worse, if the doctor spends more time with its patients she is put under pressure to achieve her quota. We have become numbers and are no longer treated like human beings.  There are exceptions among doctors who fight for us and take the time, but they are against the system which is frustrating.

Lucky You – If You Are Healthy

At this moment the healthcare system is designed to put a Band-Aid on a wound that is already infected – instead of treating the source of the problem. In other words, the patient is treated with pills to keep the sickness under control. The patient goes home feeling a little better, but continues the same lame lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits and little or no exercise. The only one benefiting of this type of treatment is the pharmaceutical industry. For the patient it is a short-term solution and the vicious cycle continues.

A Healthy Lifestyle Does The Trick

Here is our chance to avoid this greedy healthcare system, which doesn’t want the best for us. Making the right lifestyle choices, which includes healthy eating habits and daily exercises. Many of us are doing this already, however the majority of people aren’t.

By living a healthy lifestyle we do our best to avoid obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and maybe even cancer. I’m not saying we won’t get sick but at least it is the right step into a healthier future.

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Following the Safeway Principle

This large supermarket chain offers its employees discounts on health insurance if they are willing to exercise or quit smoking for instance. By offering such incentives, employees are motivated, less sick and more productive.

I think if more companies would follow this principle; the obesity rate would drop as well as other diseases. In the end, I would hope, the healthcare cost would drop and I think that is a valuable fact to fight for.

A Film Worth Seeing

Just recently I saw the documentation on CNN: “Escape Fire” which is about our lifestyle and how it is directly linked to our healthcare cost. This award-winning film sheds light to our daily lifestyle routine, eating habits as a nation and its inherited consequences that contribute to an ever rising healthcare cost. It describes all elements of a broken healthcare system. This documentation will truly go under your skin.

  • Why This Will Affect Everyone – Watch The Movie 

ESCAPE FIRE will be re-played on CNN on March 16, 2013 at 8pm, 11pm and 2am ET.

 #rescuehealthcare

 

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I would love for you to leave your opinion (if you have one) or comment below. I would really appreciate it.

 

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