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Stop the big killers (7/1/11)

July 1, 2011

Health, Not Health Care 

Health, not health care – that’s the debate this country should have.  To have a healthy economy, you need a healthy population – a population that can work long and  enjoy their lives with family and friends.

The UN knows this, and just put out its position paper on world health.  Here are some of their facts:

57 million deaths in the world have will occur this year

36 million are due to non-communicable diseases – heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lung disease being by far the big ones

By 2030, 52 million will die of these non-communicable diseases each year

The most prominent fact of the report – many of these illnesses are preventable, and at the very least postponable, by how you live.

The costs of the major chronic diseases are staggering.   Researcher David Bloom of the Harvard School of Public Health, as quoted by Edith Lederer of the Associated Press, expects the direct health and economic costs of a “main group” of non-communicable diseases to total about 35 trillion dollars between 2005-2030.  How much do newly diagnosed cancers cost worldwide this year? $300 billion.  How much will newly diagnosed chronic lung diseases cost during this year? $400 billion.

Without their health people often wonder why they live.  Without health life loses flavor.

And the costs of chronic disease can also sink economies.  American economic competitiveness is sorely tried by our outmoded, outrageously expensive, and highly ineffectual health care.  When you’re spending 17% of GNP on a health care system that ranks you 49th in countries for lifespan (CIA data – they recognize that health is important to national security) you will have a much harder time competing – whether it’s economically, scientifically, or technologically.

With a health care system this expensive and inefficient, what can you do yourself to prevent the big killers from getting you?


  1. Recognize that your body survives and thrives through effective regeneration.  Most of you has been recycled or replaced inside a month – so you’re a lot younger than you think.  That means you’ve got a lot of influence on your overall health – and still have influence even when you’ve suffered from major illnesses.
  2. To get your regeneration working properly, look at the basic elements that keep human beings healthy – food, physical activity, rest, social support, body clocks, environment and culture (particularly what’s meaningful to you.)
  3. Recognize that you can set up a simple program to make all those factors come together into a seamless, rhythmic whole you can then use every day of the year.
  4. Ask yourself each morning what you can do that will help regenerate yourself – and give your body that chance so you can rebuild it in the ways you direct.
  5. Get your family to do the same.  Try family activities that should help regenerate brain and body, like walking together after meals – so you can talk, banter, and joke together, while you’re getting healthy physical activity, social support, and hopefully sunlight as a package.
  6. Understand  that sitting more than 6 hours a day is a risk factor for mortality – so stand, stroll, and walk whenever you can.
  7. Stay away from all types of smoking, and keep alcohol to one to two drinks per day, preferably in the early evening, when alcohol’s negative effects on behavior and physical ability are minimized.
  8. Know that the environment matters.  We and our particularly our political leaders are forgetting that a healthy population requires a healthy environment.  The environment is suffering much from the changes wrought by economic expansion over the last six decades.  The many species moving rapidly towards extinction is a warning of what can happen to us.

Bottom Line:

The serious illnesses now killing the majority of the population are preventable and postponable – by what we do.  Through properly regenerating our bodies we can keep them at bay.
Rest, sleep, Sarasota Sleep Doctor, well-being, regeneration, longevity, body clocks, insomnia, sleep disorders, the rest doctor, matthew edlund, the power of rest, the body clock, psychology today, huffington post, redbook, longboat key news

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