A New Years Resolution for Whole Foods Nation: you people just need to STFU
Even McClatchy, the newspapers that can sort of be relied upon to not act totally M$M, can be found jumping on the bandwagon:
We've resolved to eat better, lace up the running shoes, shed a few pounds, quit smoking and lead healthier lives.
If we could keep our promises beyond the first weekend of the new year, perhaps our health care system wouldn't be as bloated as it is.
Indeed, some of the responsibility for health care costs sits squarely on the shoulders of consumers who make unhealthy choices – by supersizing meals, quenching thirst with sugar-laden sodas, filling lungs with tobacco and taking a less active role in maintaining their overall fitness.
Let me be the first to sing the praises of a healthy lifestyle: lots of sunshine, plenty of outdoor exercise, a good night's sleep, and Michael Pollan's dictum: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. And smoking? Eeuw.
Easier said than done though.
Ever hear of food deserts? Not everybody has ready access to a store, let alone several stores [or restaurants] to choose from, that sells lots of healthy food.
And if you do live near a source of healthy food, can you afford it? Chances are pretty good that you cannot unless you also have a healthy income.
Why would that be? In part, because of the insane subsidy system that favors Big Agriculture and all but outlaws small farmers growing vegetables and fruits on their croplands.
Then there are the processed foods, which because of subsidies again are either cheaper to produce [think high-fructose corn syrup instead of sugar] or just plain easier/cheaper to produce/store simply because of their altered chemical nature [think shortening and margarine instead of butter and oils]. Bad enough that sugar and fats are cheap and fresh veggies are expensive, but HFCS and trans fats will kill you quicker too [in more ways than one].
So the lower-income folks are left to subsist on [relatively] cheap processed almost-food, and fast food, which is especially convenient if your income is so unreliable that your utilities might be cut off at any time. Not to mention that defying Obama and buying your kid's meals at Popeye's might turn out to be marginally better for them than their school lunches after all.
As if the food weren't already bad enough, there's the pesticides used for growing it and the plastics used for packaging it to worry about too. Not only do we have partially fake food to eat, but it's laced with partially fake hormones too.
But let's say you overcome all those obstacles [or that they were never an object for you anyway]. You will increase your chances of living a long and healthy life, and one that's relatively cheap healthcare-wise... while you're young enough to be covered by your employer-provided insurance, but then you will live long enough to get something really expensive, like maybe Alzheimers, and then you'll cost society a bundle [via Medicare, and possibly Medicaid too] to take care of you in your very old age. In fact, all you healthy people could well cost society more than the fatsters and smokers and other defiantly unhealthy beings.
But hey! We saved our
masters employers all those dollars that would otherwise have been chalked up to lost productivity had we been sick.
Aside from the "healthy lifestyle" we're all supposed to lead, the article also gives us this quote:
"We are a nation of sick care. We don't do health care," she said. "Because we do sick care, that's reflected in how we set everything up."
Which is another favorite talking point of Republicans and ConservaDems, but honestly, that used to be the whole point of having these specially [and expensively] trained people that we call doctors: they're supposed to heal us when we get sick. And aside from some vaccinations and the occasional checkup, we're mostly supposed to not need them when we're well.
All the rest of it, about food and exercise and all that jazz, you were supposed to learn in fifth grade health class. Not to knock elementary school teachers or anything, but they don't need MD degrees.