Activity – Examine Instinct, Culture, Industry, Government and Healthcare

1.12 – Activity – Examine Instinct, Culture, Industry, Government and Healthcare

Lets take a moment to examine where you are in your own personal health as it relates to the 5 components in our world that contribute to the high rate of chronic disease including heart disease.

Human Instinct

Think about your own preferences for food. Do you crave sugar, salt, or fat the most? Do you find overeating a problem? Do you find it difficult to practice “moderation” in regards to how much you eat?

Understand that this is a normal human instinct built into our bodies for survival, but if we do not understand them and consciously control these cravings and behavior tendencies, we will be at high risk for developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Culture

Examine your culture. Are you a typical American or come from a different cultural background? If you are not from the traditional American culture, have your own cultural eating habits diminished and become increasingly more like the standard American diet?

While some cultures are clearly healthier than others in their dietary choices, most still include food items that promote the development of chronic diseases. Think about what foods you grew up on that are not healthy for you. Understanding that your current food choices that led you to develop chronic disease and how they relate to your culture can help you to give them up and replace them with healthier options.

Food Industry

While watching TV or driving down the street, take notice of advertisements that relate to unhealthy foods. Advertisements for products high in sugar, cholesterol or processed foods are everywhere, however many of us have become so used to them that we do not recognize the major impact they have on our food choices.

Government

The next time you are shopping look at the cost of food items that contain corn, wheat, soy or rice. These are the foods that are subsidized by the government and will be relatively inexpensive. Many processed foods, cereals, cookies and crackers will contain these items. Meat, dairy (including cheese) and eggs also get massive subsidies since corn and soy are fed to livestock. Look at the price of these food items and think to yourself, what would they cost if there were no subsidies on these foods?

Then, look at the cost of other foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds. See how these are much more expensive. Eating healthy should not be expensive and can be much cheaper if you do it the correct way which will be discussed later in the HeartStrong.com program.

Healthcare

Think about your last doctors visit. How much time during the visit did your provider take to talk about diet, nutrition and other lifestyle changes? If the cause of your chronic illness is diet and lifestyle related, shouldn’t a majority of the visit be focused on helping you be successful making the proper changes?

Examine the medications that you take. How many of them are for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity related illnesses or heart disease? How much money is the pharmaceutical industry making from your poor health? How much money would you save if you could eliminate these medications? Do you have side effects from these drugs?

Realize that medications for chronic diseases do NOT address the underlying cause of the problem, but just simply treat the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

The Solution

How can we overcome all of these barriers to good health to prevent chronic disease for both ourselves and our country? Chronic disease is crippling America and the solution is not putting more money into the system or figuring out who is going to pay the bill. The solution is to get people healthy by shifting the diet and lifestyle of America.

This will take a concerted effort of business, the healthcare industry and government, however it will not happen until the people speak up and demand change. A grassroots movement from healthcare workers and the public needs to continue to grow to reform the unhealthy food industry and misguided government policies on food as well as shift healthcare reform to promote more disease prevention.

Together, we can make a difference. Every dollar you spend on food is a vote to either support industries that provide Americans with unhealthy food that cause chronic disease, or you can vote for a company that supplies healthy food that treats and prevents disease. Take this choice seriously.

America can and will overcome this crisis of chronic disease. For you, the difference you can make starts right here with the HeartStrong.com program!

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