Healthcare reform is certainly a hot political topic that will be argued about for years to come. For the past several years I have advocated for Healthcare reform. As a nation, we simply cannot afford the rising healthcare costs due to disease that are for the most part preventable. We must each accept responsibility for reforming our own healthcare by eating a healthy plant based diet and by being active. Healthcare Reform is this weeks reading from Becoming Slender For Life.

Healthcare Reform

“Wouldn’t it be great if there were a magic pill—available to everyone, with no co-pays and no deductibles—that prevents obesity and reduces its associated risks of diabetes, heart disease and depression? In fact there is such a remedy. The magical medicine is physical activity.” ~Penelope McPhee

I started this edition of Becoming Slender For Life by writing that it’s time for each of us to take personal responsibility for our health and wellness. I firmly believe that we must have healthcare reform. As a nation, we simply cannot collectively or individually afford the status quo. Studies suggest that trimming high obesity rates in the nation’s most overweight cities could help local governments save more than $32 billion annually nationwide in associated healthcare costs.

Researchers estimate that direct healthcare costs associated with obesity are about $50 million each year per 100,000 residents in U.S. cities with the highest obesity rates. If the nation’s ten most overweight cities (each with more than a third of its residents classified as obese with a body mass index (BMI) over 30) reduced their obesity levels to the 2009 national average of 26.5%, they could collectively save nearly $500 million in healthcare costs each year.

In addition to chronic health conditions, researchers say residents in the most obese cities were also more likely to be less energetic, which can lower productivity levels and may be another hidden economic cost of obesity.

More than half of all Americans may develop diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020, unless prevention strategies aimed at weight loss and increased physical activity are widely implemented, according to a new analysis. The U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program shows that modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity could prevent pre-diabetes from progressing to diabetes.

These efforts could in theory also save about $250 billion in healthcare costs in the next ten years, suggests the analysis published by UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, a specialized center within UnitedHealth that focuses on healthcare reform issues.

There was a time when I would have put my energy into politics thinking that congress would and could affect change. I’m older now and realize that money and powerful lobbies will slow, or even prevent, meaningful change in the foreseeable future. Healthcare reform must begin with personal responsibility: Each of us must take responsibility for our own healthcare. To me, the logical place to start is with what you put in your mouth and how you move your body.

As Americans, we cannot afford to continue eating high fat, high sugar foods in the mass volume that we are currently consuming. Many of today’s healthcare costs are the result of preventable diseases causes by obesity. Americans are choosing to be fat, and it’s bankrupting the nation and killing its citizens. If terrorists want to be successful in overthrowing our government, they should buy stock in McDonald’s.

So, what can you do? You can vote with your fork and your wallet. Stop going to McDonald’s and other fast food chains. Stop buying processed foods that are filled with fat, salt, sugar and chemicals. Don’t get caught in believing that McDonald’s is serving you healthy oatmeal. McDonald’s oatmeal comes to you fully loaded with cream, more sugar than a Snicker’s bar and eleven weird ingredients that you never keep in your kitchen—all for 290 calories.

There are so many ways that healthy plant-based meals can be prepared quickly, simply and inexpensively that also taste great. There is simply no excuse to continue the self-destruction we are currently engaged in.

Becoming Slender For Life offers you the opportunity to begin healthcare reform for you and your family. True revolutionary movements start with individual change.

My challenge to you is to vote with your wallet, get off the couch, eat plant-based meals and reform your health. Remember, it only takes a single thought, a single action to change the world.

From Becoming Slender For Life,
second edition, pages 246 – 248

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