Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Blog 004 - independence day

Today Americans will gather with friends and family to celebrate our nation’s independence. We will have picnics, go to the beach, barbecue, ponder what it means to be a member of a free society, give thanks to those who have served and sacrificed to protect that freedom – and, for tens of millions of Americans, it will be another day to swallow a handful of pills.

Pills to make their blood sugar go down, to make their blood pressure go down, to make their cholesterol go down, and, for a lot of men, pills to make things go up.

People who know they will have a hard time resisting all the food laid in front of them at parties will take pills to make them think they aren’t hungry, or they will succumb to the urge to eat more than they should, but first take a pill that prevents the absorption of the fat they eat – now available without a prescription.

Tonight, after a full day of care-free celebrating, eating too much, and drinking too much, the anxiety of another day back at the office will start to creep into our psyches making slumber seem impossible, and so many of us will pop a pill to fall asleep.

Medical studies assessing the health habits of Americans reveal that today, like all days, only about three percent of us will do all of the following four things to keep us healthy: Eat five or more fruits and vegetables, be careful to maintain our weight in a healthy range, exercise, and avoid smoking. It is because we don’t do these things that we need all the pills.

I propose that we add a new dimension to Independence Day. Why don’t we make it a day to also consider what we can do to become independent and free of the chronic diseases that plague our society, kill more of us than all the wars we have fought combined, and lessen the quality of our lives? This is a remarkably achievable goal.

Living free of chronic disease is possible, very possible. And, sorry Big Pharma, it doesn’t require a pill. The millions of pills swallowed today by millions of Americans, costing billions of dollars could largely be rendered unnecessary if people would only eat healthier, exercise regularly, achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and avoid smoking. The medical evidence for this assertion is absolutely overwhelming. You don’t have to be sick or die prematurely from chronic diseases.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of changing your lifestyle.

What do you think? Why not make this your Independence Day?

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p2h said...

It's sad. We take our broken down bodies in to the doc for fixing with a pill just as if we were taking our broken down cars to the mechanic. And the docs are oh so eager to meet our expectations with a prescription.

We learn that if we take care of our cars, we can avoid the mechanic, yet it's lost on us that if we just took care of our bodies our visits to the body mechanic would be much less frequent.

I'm convinced it's largely education. People just don't understand the connection between diet, exercise, lifestyle and health.

Waterfall said...

Amen to that. I am one of the 3% (haven't always been) and just shake my head when I read the Alli stories. I actually used to take whatever diet, sleep, etc., pills I could, but now that I have begun running and truly following a healthy diet (thanks in part to your podcast), I've been amazed at how a little bit of dedication to one's health can go a very long way.