A quote from the recent HBO special The Weight of the Nation states that, “Obesity is the biggest threat to the health, welfare and future of this country”, and that regaining your own individual health is not only beneficial to you but is key to “the survival and well being of the US as a nation”…
…And listen to this comment that should send a chill through your bones, “This (our children) is probably going to be the first generation that’s going to have a shorter life-expectancy than their parents…”
The healthy citizen is a native or naturalized member of a state or nation [or community] who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection [and benefits]. As citizens of our respective countries we have the right and responsibility to vote, serve on a jury, pay taxes, drive a car and obey the traffic laws, keep the yard mowed and the house painted to remain in good standing in the community. Yet there is no building code as to how we maintain our bodies. Or is there?
If you are open minded, think about these quotes:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 KJV
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha
It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Jiddu Krishnamurti
Speaking of a sick society, it’s important to note that certain corporate interests benefit by our maladies and profit from the current public perception of health and life-style that ultimately leads down the road to dependence, disease and death. As an example, running an ad campaign teaching people how to lower blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol through exercise and diet might present a conflict of interest share holders and management of pharmaceutical companies. This is not suggesting that there is a conspiracy, just capitalism at work.
Speaking of a sick society it may work in the best interest of the giant food companies that people are generally ignorant when in comes to reading food labels and understanding the correlation to nutrition and good health. Same with restaurant franchises (fast and slow), they are obligated to shareholders to produce a product that sells (is appealing) and is profitable rather than what may be nutritious and beneficial to the public health.
Speaking of a sick society, more and more advertising and television programming is lowering the bar by presenting obese characters in the sitcoms and ads that appear to be happy healthy and accepted citizens when in reality you know that their extra pounds lessen the quality of life in terms of sleep, comfort, self-image and confidence, sex, physical activities, fun and longevity.
In spite of the available knowledge and corresponding benefits of being proactive regarding one’s health, a colleague of mine who heads the Department of Internal Medicine at a local hospital says he sees patients daily that could improve their health through life-style and diet, yet these citizens choose the prescription pad as their means of fending off death.
A parallel might be drawn between the gradual rise of obesity (and corresponding illnesses) over the past 35 years and the anecdote of the frog in the pot on the stove. People keep adjusting to the heat unaware of the danger until it’s too late.
So does the fault lie with the institution of medicine and global agricultural food concerns or the individual citizen? The answer is yes. But it’s only until many individuals take responsibility for their own destiny that large institutions and governments will bend to comply with their interests and needs.
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson co-opted to write this phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Wouldn’t it be shame if “pursuit of happiness” came to be defined in our generation as killing ourselves by complacency and ignorance?
So if you are ready to declare independence from sickness and drugs to the extant that a change in your philosophy, life-style and diet can safely effect, I invite you to join myself and thousands of others who are working to make America (or your home country) healthy through educating people regarding the habits of health.