My Healthcare Plan
Our national healthcare plan should start with each and every one of us taking control of and responsibility for our own actions as they relate to our health. I know, I’m dreaming. We’d much rather smoke and eat and argue.
I get that most Americans want to make their own healthcare decisions and don’t want them made by the government. But forgive me if I find a little irony in the passionate debate over the President’s healthcare plan.
Forget the fact that many of those arguing are not only uninformed but wrongly informed. What disturbs me is that while we battle for the right to make own healthcare decisions, we openly display a complete inability or unwillingness to manage even the most basic aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
While we argue over non-existent “death panels,” yet another study has quietly confirmed that a healthy lifestyle dramatically reduces the risk of chronic disease.
German patients who adopted four healthy lifestyle choices had a nearly 80% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Researchers focused on four factors: never smoking, having a body mass index (BMI) lower than 30, performing at least 3.5 hours per week of physical activity, and following a healthy diet.
The study enrolled men and women ages 35 to 65. For nearly 8 years, some followed no healthy factors, most had one to three healthy factors, and 9% followed all four. Those who followed all four healthy lifestyle factors had a 78% lower risk of developing a chronic disease than those with no healthy factors. The decreased risks of individual diseases associated with keeping all four lifestyle factors were as follows:
• 93% lower risk of diabetes
• 81% lower risk of myocardial infarction
• 50% lower risk of stroke
• 36% lower risk of cancer
The risk of developing disease decreased progressively as the number of healthy factors increased. These findings are reported in the Aug. 10/24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Here’s the problem with healthcare in America. No for-profit company wants to insure someone who smokes, is morbidly obese, eats unhealthy foods, and refuses to exercise. The result is skyrocketing rates and health coverage unaffordable to just about everyone.
How much would our national healthcare costs be reduced if we took it upon ourselves to stop smoking, lower our body weight, get regular exercise, and quit eating crap? This is a proven healthcare plan that works and is all about individual control.
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