I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14
We all know America is a land of puzzling contradictions, mystifying non-sequiturs, and topsy-turvy logic. We’re used to many of the inconsistencies, the confusion, the bewilderment, and even the hypocrisy. Fact is, so much of what we see around us simply does not make sense. But – even here in a culture defined by poor-judgment – this one is a real head-scratcher.
Consider the following facts:
- Some of the best-selling books this past decade have been cookbooks, weight-loss programs, and diet plans.
- Membership in gyms has skyrocketed.
- The sale of home-exercise equipment is a huge industry.
- Obesity continues to grow at an alarming rate.
- Type 2 Diabetes now plagues between 30 and 40-million Americans.
- Pre-diabetes is routinely diagnosed in so many children that today’s already alarming numbers will soon be eclipsed.
If some of those bullets appear mutually contradictory to you then congratulations, you understand the point!
Type-1 Diabetes Dietician Consult:
These perplexing contradictions had already been on my mind when Rebekah and I visited her doctor’s endocrinology practice Monday afternoon for a consult with the “Diabetes Educator” to sharpen our understanding and implementation of best practices when it comes to food.
We always learn something new, and once again left with more tools at our disposal when it comes to managing the dangerous and volatile nature of Type 1 Diabetes (1.25-million Americans).
I also came away with a determination to write something about the looming health crisis that is threatening to literally overwhelm our resources over the next few decades.
- That’s right, “overwhelm our resources.”
With the population of pre-diabetic children and young adults (Type 2 Diabetes) burgeoning, industry analysts anticipate the need to quadruple the number of Walk-In, Urgent-Care, Fast-Med etc. clinics to handle the explosion of need.
Reports on per-capita spending (for everything from medicines to clinics to ER to hospitalizations to surgeries to recovery times to rehab…) consistently show that obesity and pre-obesity are directly responsibly for an increasingly large percentage of the overall cost.
Yes, there are genetic factors at play, and we know that education impacts diet – as does food insecurity and poverty. But this is a public health crisis, and there is a ton of room for improvement, for intentionally healthier practices, for support, for education, and for encouragement.
While it is true that we are all individuals, and understanding what is healthy and comfortable for one person should not be confused with any “statistical average”, it remains a stone cold fact that the following bullet points negatively impact our health:
- Lack of exercise (7,500-plus steps per day is a good place to start),
- Sleep deficit,
- Poor diet choices (especially junk foods and sugary sodas),
- Letting children make poor diet choices,
- The death of the “family dinner hour”,
- Ignorance when it comes to healthy choices,
- Avoiding annual check-ups,
- Insurance inequities. BTW the math on this helps both health and general prosperity. Taking steps to ensure that 100% of Americans have access to health care would significantly benefit not only health but prosperity for all. Lost productivity, lost buying power, bankruptcy, accelerating health issues, increase use of emergency treatment (and more) can all be alleviated when people do not have to worry about the cost of care.
Per capita expenditure on health care will decrease to the extent that coverage increases. So will economic stability. Why? Because it makes good economic sense to keep people healthy and working and earning money and out of the hospital and paying taxes and contributing to the general prosperity of the nation.
Where do we begin?
We can start by taking a long hard look at our bodies, this amazing gift we have been given, and learn how to take better care of ourselves! And we can continue by taking a long hard look at how we care for our neighbor.
This “Looming national emergency” of a health crisis is – for the most part – not just manageable but avoidable.
Sure, it’s more complex that this. But it is also more simple too. This is as much in our hands as it is the politicians’ – and thank goodness for that!
“Your very good health!” – DEREK
ps – all photos today copied from the Internet