Healthcare in a Pocket

July 2, 2009

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Ethicist Alonzo Fyfe injects a simple, yet often overlooked fact, of American life amid our growing health-care debate: Many of our costly and deadly health-care woes are 100-percent avoidable.

Fyfe writes: “A great many of our health-care costs are due to lifestyle choices. Overeating, smoking, drinking, the use of drugs, and unhealthy sexual activities. If people would reduce their involvement in these activities, he medical community would be able to devote more of its resources to caring for those who really need the help – those whose illnesses and injuries are of a type that afflict people regardless of the choices they make.”

Huzzah! Well said, sir. And I say that as someone who does not have a regular exercise regiment and who regularly eats trashy food (I actually had a pepperoni Hot Pocket the other day — I should be flogged in the public square). I have seen the enemy and it is filled with disgusting meat product and cheese-like substance.

How should we respond to Fyfe’s wake-up call? How have you struggled to keep fit and svelte? For many of my friends, the will to exercise daily seems almost effortless while I hem and haw and eventually find ways to avoid exertion. Let’s leave the realm of philosophy and religion for a moment and explore. Or maybe not. Perhaps we can discuss the connection (or lack thereof) between religious belief and views on wellness. How many of us remember the overweight preachers of our childhoods railing against every perceived “sin” except gluttony only to follow the service with a fried-chicken potluck?

Although I have yet to take his advice, I enjoy the user-friendly tips offered at ZenHabits.