Saturday, July 25, 2009

Health Care Reform Intro

So this escalating issue is in the eyes of the public at the moment. Statements forecasting the future exhaustion of financing for government health care, escalating health care premiums and costs for individuals and employers, proposals of universal health care, limiting benefits... some interesting information can be found at:

Granted you have to grind through parts. It discusses the generals issues and proposed financial options by trimming costs, passing on expenses, and various taxes. There are some key ideas that are important and some others I disagree with personally. Generally, I believe the health system is failing due to a multitude of reasons. First, the general disposition and downward trend of individuals' health. The failure of individuals to "take care" of themselves and lack of promoting acceptable health habits (I'll be focusing on the general notion of obesity at first). Another part is the expectation that the nation or some third party will and more importantly that the mentality that these parties should cover their medical expenses. I believe this is the wrong direction to be heading in. In a broader sense, the consumer mentality.More responsibility and awareness is needed by the individual.

Obesity can be used as a reflection of the U.S. health crisis. It's a simple term that can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Metabolic and genetic diseases are some causes of obesity. Other causes include thyroid disorders, symptoms from prescription medication (irionically) but many result from poor dietary habits of individuals. The failure to monitor your intake and inhibit excessive eating. Also the lack of sufficient exercise. Often it is a mix of many of these. However, the most abundantly clear factor that we have control over is controlling our diet. So to prevent obesity would be the first step. It doesn't have to be complicated to begin. A simple self montoring process. If you see that your weight or body fat is moving in one direction over an elongated period of time, well it's time to try something different. Do some internet research and try new things out. It doesn't necessarily have to be extreme. As for exercise, our general day to day activities do not provide much. Our heavy reliance on technology has increased our productivity with less effort in many fields.

I've been focusing on it from a negative perspective though. There are many positive reasons to prevent or fight obesity. One that many focus on is physical appearance. Another is physical capability. Due to the nature of people and trends of attractiveness, this has direct mental benefits as such as confidence. Others are to prevent complications that obesity can bring.

The consequences to your health are numerous... in most of the population, it manifests itself by causing various joint pains, body aches, asthma... It limits general mobility and functionality... complicating and making day to day tasks slight more difficult। There are more serious issues as well as there are significant correlations between obesity and cancers such as pancreatic. The cancer may be more related the diet related issues that cause obesity rather than simply being obese. Of course with anything, there are also the negative mental effects. Many have suppose that it causes depression (to varying extents) which seems logical. Who's mind wouldn't be concerned, stressed, and inhibited as the consequences of obesity present themselves.

How about liability? We are always looking for someone to point a finger at (another problem I have). Yes there are influences from major businesses that indirectly promote obesity. Technology that makes physical labor less necessary, make indulging easier. Commercials constantly bombarding our senses with the joys of eating whether it be fine dining or fast food. Despite all this, it is up to the individual to question and decide. This in itself is another issue. We are plagued with taking the path of least resistance (in physics its a property of a current... makes me think that it is in natures best interest... but with us... something can be made to seem like the easiest) and when presented with what seems to be an opportunity to bring satisfaction to ourselves, many take it. Once again, the individual must filter out what is acceptable for themselves. Is it a priority though? Understandably, many have other concerns, rather than focusing on their diet which does not seem to have immediate effects on their health. A combination of finance issues and readily available inexpensive but unhealthy food makes matters worse, seemingly stripping the choice of eating healthy. It's more difficult to make the healthy choice. Yet still I come back to, people must regain or retain control.

The CDC is great source for detailed information. Some statistics at Now some may argue that it's bullshit and that there's no reason that every individual has to be skinny.. that the American media is promoting the need to be skinny... I'm not focusing on that. I am looking out the shear fact that there has been a tremendous increase on obesity among the population. That it is a clear set back on many as individuals and as a nation as a whole.... and yields economic stress. Now perhaps there are other bigger (monetarily) healthcare issues but costs of obesity related treatment has been cited in the hundreds of billions (

to be continued....

On another note. I may be a hypocrite for stating what I have. I welcome commentaries to further refine my argument (and possibly changing my stance).

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