I’ve heard everything I can bear about this whole health care debate. Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between trying to rediscover the wheel with health care reform when we have a lot of countries around the world that have already figured it out. Why don’t we look to another country to gather what we can from their system and find out how it will work for ours. The last time I paid attention (unfortunately it was yesterday, I can’t find my apathy here) there were over 744 pages in the new healthcare bill. About what? Mostly amendments and pork that have nothing to do with me or the other 315 million Americans in need of medical attention. But there is a giant omission that, as far as I know, has not been addressed by anyone in Congress to a significant degree. And that is prevention of preventable diseases and ailments. What are these? Well, overweight and obese for starters. Would you believe that 63% of Americans are overweight or obese? That is more than 6 out of 10 people. 63 out of 100. That means if the average person knows 100 people, then they know 63 people who are:
• In danger of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, migraines, and even erectile dysfunction. • Supporting corporations that provide poor quality food to Americans, including foods that contain trans fats, meat on steroids, vegetables with high levels of toxic pesticides, and those are the ones that actually eat vegetables!
• Provide our children with fried and processed foods in their schools. • Congesting our hospitals and clinics and increasing our health care costs by up to $ 147 billion a year according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 10 percent of all health care costs nationwide!
So why doesn’t anyone do anything about it? The 2009 documentary Food Inc. examined this problem and found amazing facts about large corporations and their quest for higher profits. Much of the food we eat is so scientifically improved to provide it faster and cheaper that very few nutrients remain. Only fat and empty calories. And who is to blame for buying this shit? America, of course.
Now, anyone who says “It’s a free country and I can do whatever I want” is absolutely right. Is a free country. But here’s the problem. When I hear this line, I hear something different. I hear “It’s a free country, and I can increase all of our health care costs, making things worse for everyone, if I want to.” I also hear “It’s a free country, and I can support corporations that will target all of us to make us sick and make a quicker profit if I want to.” And don’t even tell me about parents who feed their children this garbage. Why not? Because I’m going to talk about it anyway.
Across the United States, the fastest growing population of overweight and obese people is children. Children under 18 years of age who are being fed processed and fried foods without any real benefit to our health. Parents, administrators of school feeding zdrowie programs, hospitals; Everywhere I look, I see junk food. These children then grow into overweight and obese adults. Then the cycle continues. A 2009 University of North Carolina study found that nearly one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Additionally, obese children as young as three have early warning signs of heart disease and diabetes, while this and many other studies have shown that overweight and obese children are much more likely to become obese adults. In fact, when considering the lifelong ailments caused by parents raising obese children due to carelessness or apathy towards healthy lifestyle choices, it could even be argued that raising overweight children should be a crime. Anyone who disagrees is encouraged to visit almost every other country in the world, where it would be difficult to find overweight or obese people exceeding even five percent of the population.