A Blinding Glimpse Of The Obvious

Last Sunday I was reading the magazine section of The New York Times. Now before you start calling me one of those intellectual types 5 minutes earlier I was reading with interest an article in The New York Post about how Michael Jackson was being stored in a refrigerator prior to being buried so his Mom could stop and see him every day. Well, back to The Times…
The story was about the possibility of a ‘fat tax’ and the far ranging costs obesity has on the United States health care system. Currently 9.1% of our annual U.S. medical costs are obesity-related. Imagine if we could reduce our health care costs by 9.1%; that’s 147 billion dollars ($147,000,000,000)!
Here are the current reasons and percentages of early death in the U.S.:
Substandard medical care= 10%
Social/ physical environments= 20%
Genetics= 30%
Behavior=40%!!!
So think about it; The Grim Reaper is pointing a gun at us that has chambers for ten bullets and we push four of the bullets in the chambers!
It’s not only about the quantity of years we have on this planet, it’s equally important about the quality of life. Kids developing type 2 diabetes in their teenage years or contemplating bariatric surgery is a horrible situation. We live in the ‘land of plenty’; perhaps it should be renamed the’ land of too much’.
Recently we had the award for The Corporate Cup and I told those present: ‘what sort of change could we make in the current health care debate if you merely talked one of your fellow employees to begin to achieve a healthier lifestyle?’ Besides giving you co-worker ‘the gift of life’ you are probably helping the overall ‘health’ of your company by reducing their health care costs.
Look, I’m not trying to be ‘the running police’ and demanding everyone needs to run 9.3 miles. In fact, I think an important component is for people to gravitate towards an exercise regime that they actually enjoy; what a concept. Walk or bike with friends, join a yoga club or run the roads. Is it hard getting started, yes, I’m not going to lie about it. However, over time, it becomes a part of your routine.
In the end we have a huge (no pun) responsibility for our own health and it’s a rather simple equation figuring our calories going into the human and being burned by ‘the engine’.
Think about this; the less we remain active the faster we run towards meeting ‘The Reaper’ and that is one race I don’t want to win!

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