The New York Health department has given up the idea of taxing soda as a weapon in the war against obesity and have instead started a graphic advertising campaign showing a soda being poured into a glass, with the soda turning into liquid fat on its way to the glass. Pretty graphic, and some may even think gross, but it really gets across the message that drinking soda is a major cause of obesity. Pretty creative, and great to see the government actually get serious about getting the message across.
Health & Wellness
I have been busy lately so not a lot of blogging has been going on. My last blog was that the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, stated in a press interview that "we sell a lot of junk". Actually a lot of bloggers thought he had said that Down to Earth sold a lot of junk, and we had some righteous indignation going on. So to be clear, he was talking about Whole Foods, not Down to Earth (in fact I don't know if he has ever said anything about Down to Earth).
We have been blogging in recent weeks about the debate in Washington and the nation on the health care crisis and how we aren't hearing any discussion about addressing the root causes of the crisis, i.e. the underlying unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices (meat and junk food based diets, lack of physical activity, consumption of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc.) and the widespread practice of defensive medicine. Another major cause of the bloated medical system's costs to add to the list is the cost of medical mistakes.
Food, Inc., the movie that shows how the food industry really works starts at Kahala Mall this Friday, July 31, 2009.
Aloha, yesterday's blog post generated a lot of comments, so many that I want to address a few with a second one. And of course, I forgot the most obvious action points for changing your lifestyle to save your life, which are very simple, people need to:
I continue to be amazed that the debate over changes to the nation’s health care system is not focused, or at least that a significant part of the debate isn’t about how to reduce the need for so much expensive medical intervention/treatment in the first place. The current debate assumes that the current level of medical care is a given, that it is going to increase as the population ages, and that more and more of the population will likely become obese, get diabetes, have heart disease, get cancer, etc.
Another cost to be considered in the access to health care debate along with the huge costs of lifestyle preventable diseases caused by tobacco and other intoxicants, diet, and lack of exercise that I blogged on yesterday, is the costs to the medical system of medical malpractice insurance. The actual costs are hard to come by but are of two types, direct and indirect (indirect costs are the costs of unnecessary tests and treatments ordered by doctors solely to protect themselves from getting sued).
Speaking about tobacco health care related costs which are estimated at $96 billion per year, that figure is dwarfed by the health care costs and productivity losses associated with just 5 diet related chronic diseases which are estimated at $864 billion per year.
As we are about to be asked to pay $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years in extending medical insurance benefits to almost everyone in the nation, President Obama's "struggle with smoking" becomes more relevant. The annual US health care costs related to tobacco related illness is estimated at an astounding $96 billion, with a further loss of productivity cost of $97 billion. The total health care and lost productivity costs per packet of cigarettes are estimated at $10.28, whereas the average cost of a packet of cigarettes including sales tax is less than half that at approx. $4.80.
In a scary case that makes it even more worrying to go to hospital, a medical worker injected the painkillers intended for patients into herself, then filled the used syringes with saline solution and injected the patients with that, exposing them to Hep C.