Health Fitness Revolution is proud and honored to introduce TV Show Host Deborah Duncan as a contributing Author! Enjoy her first article:
So I heard a conversation the other day between two people with opposite opinions on a sensitive topic… Healthcare. We have to decide in this country whether healthcare is a privilege or a right and we have to decide at what point we as individuals should assume some responsibility. This brings me to the argument I overheard. An employee was upset that they were being asked to pay $50 more a month for their share of health insurance because they smoke. They did not think it was fair and thought it was a form of descrimination. For clarification sake, smokers are not part of the protected class covered by civil rights legislation. The other employee, who is not a smoker, made the point that smoking has been substantiated as a detriment to ones health so why shouldn’t they pay more if they “choose” to do something that is proven to greatly increase the chances for cancer and heart disease.
Other employers have gone as far as to increase rates for, or not even hire people who are overweight because we know the chances for type two diabetes are greatly increased. In fact, CVS pharmacy just made headlines for requiring employees to get screenings and disclose information about their weight and blood glucose levels. Although it is controversial, you can argue that it makes since when your company is footing the bill for your health insurance. Type two diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and can lead to blindness and other declining health issues. With that said, it was just a matter of time before insurers and employers would start charging overweight people a different rate for something some feel is within a person’s control to change.
Both these situations bring to light a bigger conversation that we should be having. Most all of us have some fear over what can happen to us health wise but we give no thought to what we do to ourselves to cause our health problems starting with our food. Socrates had it right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” As a friend once told me, Dr. Russell Martino, ”We are digging our graves through our teeth.”
Changing habits is hard. I recently asked in a Facebook poll, “What is your excuse for not eating right or exercising?” The majority of people said the reason they don’t do either is because… they have type two diabetes! News flash, if you exercise and eat right, the diabetes in most cases goes away! Don’t eat right + don’t exercise + gain weight = type two. Why in the world is that so hard? Why would most people rather pop a pill or administer some insulin rather than do what your body needs and wants. No matter what medication you are taking, the impact of diabetes marches on if you do not change your diet and activity level. Those two things are free and proven to work! Somewhere along the way we have handed control of our health over to a bottle or a syringe that simply keeps you hanging on. It does not get rid of the problem and does not improve the quality of life. As cardiologist, Dr. Kota Reddy often notes, many of the patients who have suffered from heart attacks and have type two diabetes are also taking insulin, high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Obviously it didn’t stop the disease from progressing. A simple change in diet would have been much more affective than any pill or surgery.
With these killer diseases at epidemic levels and a healthcare system that can’t afford it, we have to institute our own healthcare system called personal responsibility. Yes it is hard to not have a bread-a-licious, super cheesy day. It just can’t be every day. I know! Them’s fighting’ words for some folks including a close friend who says, I just don’t understand. She is losing her eyesight and is becoming immobile because of diabetes, but getting her to change her diet is a battle. I get it. Comfort food and convenience are worthy adversaries. I just had to finally ask myself whether that mouthful (several mouthfuls actually) was worth my life. The answer is no.