The High Cost of Not Taking Care of Ourselves

By Dr. Steven Schimpff   | The Costs of Medical Care – The Future of Medicine: PART 3

Excessive Weight, Lack of Exercise, Poor Nutrition and Diet and High Stress – We are a country of people who are overweight –one-third are overweight and one-third or more are frankly obese –, under-exercised, poorly fed from a nutritional perspective and highly stressed. And it gets worse each year. This is the major reason that medical costs will rise in the future. Diabetes will accelerate to epidemic proportions, heart disease will follow, arthritis will be exacerbated by obesity, life spans will be shortened and along the way there will be enormous medical bills to pay.

We need a government that encourages good health, regardless of the economic interests that such a program will affect. It will mean less fatty food, less red meat, less whole milk and cheese on our pizza, less sodas [and everything else made with high fructose corn syrup], less prepared and take out meals and more home cooking, more whole grains (whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal) and a real change in the cereals sold in supermarkets. We need to shop the periphery of the supermarket and leave the aisles with all the prepared foods alone. But the supermarkets are getting wise to that as well and placing many prepared foods in the peripheral aisles now. We still smoke in high numbers with all too many teenagers picking up the habit. They will incur the wrath of lung caner, heart disease, lung diseases and others in the years to come. And we must finally come to accept that weight gain is a function of the number of calories consumed minus the number expended by exercise. That’s so simple but apparently so difficult that we try all sorts of diets that ultimately don’t work but cost lots of money and frustration.

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