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Why fitness is a financial issue

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Practical wisdom from Benjamin Franklin. Unfortunately, both practicality and wisdom, both prevention and cure, have been thrown to the wind debate around the US healthcare debate and lack of consensus. One fact is clear: whether you favor the law President Obama signed or not, preserving the status quo is not the answer. According to the WHO, medical care costs the US more - in both relative (15.2% of GDP) and absolute ($7,164 per capita) terms - than in any other country. In contrast, the comparable figures for Canada in the same year (2008) were 9.8% of GDP and $3,867. Regardless of the eventual policy outcome (and in countries like Canada where public healthcare exists), this is not only a collective problem, it is an individual problem.
About half of American healthcare spending, as well as most of today’s top causes of death, can be attributed to preventable “lifestyle” diseases, according to the New York Times. This is a mass public health emergency, one whose cause is individual behavior. Though government should act, it’s up to people to educate themselves and make healthier choices. Exercise more. Eat less fat and processed carbohydrates, more fiber, and as many fresh whole, natural foods as you can. We all know this. However, it must be said: agricultural subsidies keep corn-based junk food cheap, and poverty causes people to eat lousy diets out of convenience, affordability and exhaustion.
So if you want to get fit, but you’re having trouble doing it for the sake of virtue or vanity, consider this: over the course of your life, that cheap McMeal is going to cost plenty. It may take some investment up front in money, time and effort to eat well and stay in shape. But the consequences of obesity will cost a lot more...whether it’s the expense of medical care itself, loss of time or ability to do work, or an increase in your insurance premiums. A gym membership and a salad are a much cheaper than open heart surgery!
Leslie Johnson is a mom, wife and writer. In between working on her own fiction, Leslie writes for blogs related to healthcare and education, such as


Unknown said...

Yes, exactly how I feel, we need to demand a huge cut back on subsidies that are hurting our health and put the money toward truly healthy food and food education.

Theressa said...

Subsidies is a sweet dose of medicine but in reality a bitter pill. Eating healthy is a choice that the smart and a conscious makes, its an effort to lower down on medical issues that lay hidden for years if not given its right treatment in the form of fitness and the right diet. Obesity is one of the major problem a very serious medical issue that has resulted due to cheap availability of foods that are very soothing to the eyes and tastes buds but a disaster in waiting. Keeping fit at the right time is the only way to keep our health budget under control.

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