With the effectiveness of Obamacare still in question, the high cost of health care in the United States remains a major issue.
When people talk about health care, they largely refer to individuals going to medical appointments and taking prescription drugs. If worse comes to worse, patients are rushed to the hospital where they made need surgery and intensive treatment.
But what’s left out of the narrative is the necessity of preventing patients from seeing the doctor in the first place.
Doctors and drugs were designed to deal with the myriad of problems that come with having a society that relies on cars most of the time opposed to walking or biking.
Most of America’s suburban communities are not designed to be walked around. Even short distances from homes to convenience stores may not have a good sidewalk to travel the distance.
Communities that were built on farmland or forests in the age of the automobile had no need to follow ancient city models that were fairly walkable. In the Old City of Jerusalem for example it’s possible to cross the city in about half an hour. Could you say the same about your suburban development?
At the same time we have had less need for physical exertion, our food has become fattier. It tastes good but it’s full of sugar and fat. Cup sizes at fast food places and movie theaters have grown tremendously. The small soda is now a large!
A poor diet and little exercise leads to a myriad of health problems from heart attack to diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol that lead to expensive medical treatment and death. Such causes of death could be dealt with better.
The issue is that the desire to get and remain in shape has to come from the individual. But that desire can be outweighed by the short-term pleasure of goodies. After a lifetime of dessert, second portions, Mom’s special treats, Thanksgiving pies, Halloween candy, Christmas candy, fast food, cheap junk food, and special exceptions to the diets, it isn’t easy to change. And I don’t exclude myself from this group. I’ve struggled with losing weight since I was eight, though I’m making progress.
Addressing the issue at large is no easier. Even Michelle Obama has faced a backlash for her “Let’s Move” campaign. But with the cost of healthcare extremely high, something should be done to encourage healthier communities.
While some efforts have taken been to reach that goal, much works still needs to be done.
Many will likely defend their right to eat too many sweets and criticize the dangerously skinny starlets the media parades before us. But we need to strike a balance between the two.
At the same time, diet and exercise won’t end all the medical problems out there. Some people are prone to disease due to genetics while others manifest due to the environment.