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Health/Wellness: Diet and Exercise; Wise Food Choices, Moderation; “Own Grave”, Understanding Wellness/Health Care Industry

Health/Wellness is an area of public policy that really hits home because we are talking life and death.  Would someone in the government or a recently retired congressman just drink some truth serum and tell the God’s honest truth.   The average American is personally responsible for their health problems due to bad diet and infrequent exercise.  While some ailments occur naturally, fast food and sugary drinks are the roots of too many issues.

If Beretta don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, a similar saying should be “don’t eat everything and anything if you don’t want to do hospital and early grave time.”  Are some foods literally “to die for?”  I had a chubby buddy who was told he was a diabetic but he simply said no…maybe later but for now no.  He learned everything about diabetes and dropped most of his body fat in six months by exercising and eating right.  While he is still a diabetic technically, he doesn’t take medication because he fought the good fight.

The good fight makes me think about Paul’s biblical statement in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.   So, you have all these obese church folks up in the buffet spot on Sunday afternoon polluting the temple of the Lord.

Wise food choices are so easy for Americans because the stores are plentiful with variety and T.V. shows tell us what to prepare and why.  We jokingly say that modern-day soul brothers are using low-fat fatback.  Right On.  I decided to walk away from pork and beef until I get my 230 pounds weight under 210.  That was two years ago and I really miss hamburger but pork is likely gone for good.

People drink a surprisingly large number of calories.  Is Mountain Dew worth the health trouble…it’s basically syrup.   High fructose corn syrup and salt kill more people than bullets.  I want to declare my respect for the First Lady Michelle Obama and really all first ladies of my lifetime.  Even Betty Ford turned pill issues into a noble cause.

I have friends who have issues with (hate) Flotus Obama for championing the food choice issues.  From the public policy standpoint, it seems Orwellian that the government and the non-elected first lady would tell (advise)  kids on eating habits or work to remove unhealthful foods from schools.  The eating habits of kids led to a lifetime (sometimes a shorten lifetime) of medical problems.  Oh, health concerns are no problems…give ‘em pills for this and pills for that.

Yes, some people actually take the cholesterol drug Lipitor in Golden Corral before eating a fried chicken…not some fried chicken… a whole fried chicken.  Too often, that person with long-term bad eating habits is the same uninsured person that cost the government over $200,000 as doctors try to save them…from themselves.

There is a difference between what Mrs. Obama wants us to eat and what the government can force or compel us to eat.  At the same time, should medical ethics draw treatment lines when someone dug their own grave?

When Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, he considered changes to the health care system that would reward those who ate right and exercised.  His plan was similar to the auto insurance plans with vanishing deductibles today.   If a person didn’t have a major health care expense in say five years, that person’s premium would be zero until there was a big expense.

Another aspect to consider would be the food kids receive free and reduced as part of the school lunch program.  Should the government have a right to dictate the healthfulness of that food because the taxpayers are buying it?  What about food stamps for veggies only?  Of course, the beef, corn and pork lobbyists aren’t having it.

Moderation: The motto of the great state of Georgia is “justice, wisdom and moderation.”  Friends in the health care profession tell me that I didn’t need to abandon beef and pork totally; I should have moderated my consumption of all foods.   The smart First Lady Obama promotes the USDA change from the food pyramid of old to the new food plate which calls for wise amounts of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy.   Like Columbus discovering a place with millions of inhabitants, Americans are discovering what the Greeks and Japanese have known for centuries.  You put a lot of veggies on the plate and add a little protein for seasoning.

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/about.html

As we get older, we apply moderation to many parts of life: one glass of wine, an occasional cigar, ribs on the Fourth of July only.   The workout process starts with moderation because you have to crawl before you ball….it starts with walking.

Healthy choices also involve “relations.”   Like with food, alcohol and drugs, don’t do it if you aren’t prepared to live with the possible consequences.   Relations are likely better for most people without latex but I don’t want to hear a dam word of complaining if the worst results happen.  You knew the risk factors and you made your choice.

Healthcare Industry: Again, everyone has an agenda and it usually involves staying paid.  When I was a kid, you went to the doctor and he tried to figure out what was wrong with you.   Today, the doctors want to give you medications to stop your body from sending pain messages to your brain.  You don’t need pills long-term; you need to correct what is wrong.

The whole Obamacare debate was a political football being kicked around by two political parties with donors from all sides of the private sector.  The reality is this: uninsured people use the emergency room as a doctor’s office and go to the doctor far too late.

If I had my own island nation, we would have universal health care coverage with an annual doctor’s examination.  My doctors would catch a little bump that was going to be cancerous and remove it for a few bucks.  In America, that person would receive half a million dollars in government-funded indigent care before dying.  Dam.  The annual exam on my island would give doctors the opportunity to say “you are 100 pounds overweight from poor eating habits and zero exercise.  If you don’t get those 100 pounds off you in two years, the state will not pay for fat-related treatments.  We will, however, pay your gym fees.”

While the last paragraph was mostly humor, there is nothing funny about the insurance industry making decisions about coverage for insured people.   I didn’t say doctors making decisions.  We are talking about insurance company employees in call centers somewhere.  So, do you want to know why I eat wiser and limit Budweiser?   It’s because I don’t like those people making life decisions about me.  Yes, illness is part of life but it’s a part I avoid by fighting the good fight.

Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry and they sell drugs.  To me, helpful drugs are gifts from heaven but we shouldn’t seek a big pharma solution to a problem that can be addressed naturally..ie. diet and exercise.

Mrs. Obama must be dumbfounded when she thinks that we give bad free foods to poor kids and those kids become adults with horrible eating habits who again cost 500k for healthcare coverage.  We are the greatest nation in human history because the best third of the population makes things happen but the worst third needs to step their game up …with no more excuses.   And yes, the first lady and the government should discuss eating habits carefully because the taxpayers often fund medical care resulting from bad choices.

Mental/Emotional Health: People with emotional and mental health issues often self-medicate with alcohol, illegal drugs and wrongful usage of legal drugs.  We should be mindful that emotional eating leads to health problems.  Chris Rock says Black folks only go to counseling when it’s court ordered but with all kidding aside, all people need to check their mental health with the care they give their precious cars.

Peace, rest and happiness are good medicines; the soul needs wellness.  Some people go from childhood to the grave stuck on angry – mad at the world for spinning.  You don’t need experts to tell you that constantly boiling blood isn’t good for the mind, body or soul.

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Should USDA programs be deeply cut?

Some budget crunchers want to put agriculture spending on the table with other discretionary spending.  While there is fat at USDA, I say we must remember that everyone eats food.  We all need a safe and affordable food supply and the Obama campaign promise to use ag research and technology as “soft power”–bread rather than bullets around the world. 

Richard Hass with the Council on Foreign Relations recently said that one million dollars is the cost of having one soldier in Afghanistan for one year.  But, farm and nutrition programs are about to get the ax.  Less than 2% of the American population is involved in farming but that 2% feeds the nation.  In Georgia, we have ag research colleges at UGA, ABAC and Fort Valley State.  The ground-breaking techniques from these institutions are amazing.  Farming is hard work and hard financially.  Without USDA programs, family farms would be endangered and huge corporation farms would be the future.

High schools, vocational schools and four-year colleges should help students prepare for careers in food and fiber production that doesn’t require tilling the soil.  Food is big business and kids could prep for jobs like Wal-mart distribution managers, meat inspectors and Whole Foods managers.

Federal food programs are win-win because farmers get to produce more crops and kids shouldn’t be hungry.  Yes, it’s the parents’ job to feed their children but hungry kids are too much while we spend trillions on other things. We know that people who have healthier diets cost less in medical expense (bad eaters are digging  their own graves.)  

Former House Ag Committee chairman Kika de la Garza often told the story about touring a nuclear submarine and asking the officers what forces the vessel to come up from the bottom of the sea.  The officers said that could desalinated water and the boat produces its own energy but they come up for food.  We all eat.

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