Friday, June 26, 2009

Personal Responsibility of Health Care

So, the President was on ABC talking about the health care reforms he's working on. A couple of thoughts. He talked about preventative measures each of us must take in order to stay healthy, therefore not needing as much doctor time/medication/expensive tests, etc. Good idea. But why was there a commercial immediately after that segment with a dozen people shoving greasy Big Macs in their mouths?

Nutrition Facts - McDonald’s Big Mac.

Calories - 540
Calories from Fat - 260
Total Fat - 29 grams
Carbs - 45 grams
Saturated Fat - 10 grams
Trans Fat - 1.5 grams
Cholesterol - 75 milligrams
Sodium - 1040 milligrams
Protein - 25 grams

Don't get me wrong, I think anyone that wants to should be able to eat whatever they want. However, the nutrient content of a this kind of meal, especially if it's eaten daily or several times a week, does nothing to promote health. In order to gain a pound a week, one must add 500 calories daily to one's diet...or 3,500 in seven days time. Ah, that's one Big Mac a day.... Or to loose one pound a week, the reverse is true and that's still one Big Mac a day. About 50% of these calories are from fats, 18% Protein and 33 % carbs. A healthy ratio is around 50% carbs, 25% each fat and protein.

Anyway...another thought occurred. What would happen if insurance companies, whether they are state, private or federal, increased co-payments for people that refused to try and change their health? Many of the diseases we face, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., can often be controlled by diet and exercise or at least the amount of medication can be decreased.

If an overweight individual with these three diseases were to change their eating plan, add 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week, the amount of medication could drastically be reduced or even eliminated. Multiply that by several hundred thousand Americans and look how much money we could save in health care. Now if you don't want to change your lifestyle, that's fine. But your co-pay for your medication will go up. Your choice.

Freeing up that money, would minimize the burden on those that can't control their diseases by simple measures like those outlined above....those with cancer, thyroid issues, etc.

Personal responsibility. Why should I change when there is a pill I can take?

Just a thought....

Mrs Obama agrees: In the same way she spoke out against low-nutrition processed and fast foods during a recent visit to Bancroft Elementary School, Mrs. Obama hit on this theme again. Mrs. Obama came to this awareness a few years ago, when the family pediatrician pointed out that daughters Sasha and Malia were both at risk for food-created disease such as diabetes and obesity, due to weight gain. "We were eating a lot of easy, fast foods, and I saw it starting to take a toll on my kids' health," Mrs. Obama said.

Mrs. Obama said the family began eliminating processed food and adding fruits and vegetables to their diet, and started to cook more and eat out less. Mrs. Obama stressed that "little, incremental changes" like walking more and limiting soda consumption are critical for personal health as
well as health care reform, for her own family as well as everyone else who eats.

In advance of the President's Wednesday Health Care Town Hall in the White House, Mrs. Obama is stressing the fact that no matter what government does to promote health, personal food choice--and personal food education--becomes a critical issue, at the end of the day.
"Government can't do it all," Mrs. Obama said.

Eliminating low-nutrition and processed foods from every one's daily diet is the most logical place to begin. "Those things will eliminate obesity and cut down on costs. I mean, we're spending about $120 billion additional a year on our health care system as a result of these sort of chronic illnesses that you see that are connected to obesity.
We already know that," Mrs. Obama said.

I do realize it's a long shot. As my BFF says, "People will change their religion before they'll change their diet."


  1. It is so true. I have relatives who figure if you can take a pill to fix it, it is ok. I was extremely health conscious for over 10 years and wish I were more disciplined today.

    Did you see where McDonald's has those beautiful Coke glasses for free only if you purchase an EVM (extra value meal) which I think is supersize. They need to take accountability.

  2. Truer words were never spoken. Like Joansie, I used to eat extremely healthy, and then came a 13 year relationship with a meat eater and other unhealthy eating habits. This was eventually exascerbated by retirement. And now I have to restart healthier eating habits. Good luck with your continued weight program. Renate

  3. You are right about overweight/obesity being the cause of many health issues;knee, hip and back + those you mentioned. The problem I see is what agency will determine the standards for overweight/obesity? Will this stop those people from seeking medical advice? Don't you just want to say something when you see overweight standing in line to buy ice cream or buying those big gulp drinks? Whatever happened to drinking plain old tap water?


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