Monday, September 8, 2008

Unconventional Thinking Can Create Healthier Nation

“Following presidential politics is part of a healthy lifestyle, if you can stand the aggravation. I can, because I think it's crucial to have people in power who have functioning brains. Our nation's healthy lifestyle depends on it. We need conscious, compassionate leaders to figure our way out of this mess, and one of the messiest problems is health care. Medical costs are going up. So are obesity, diabetes and the riskiness of radiating our heads with cell phones. Incomes and school performance scores are going down. The poor and uneven quality of our health care – whoever tells you we are No. 1 or even No. 10 is misinformed or lying is a fact. There is documented pain and deep suffering all around. And still, when it comes to health care reform, it's all talk-talk-talk and little action. That's because the real action must be taken by We the People. Study after study, expert after expert, all agree: Living a healthier lifestyle is our No. 1 defense against sickness and disease. What we eat, how much we sleep, how we deal with stress, the amount of physical exercise we do; we are our own deciders. A national health insurance program can't make you eat fresh vegetables instead of cheese fries. It can't force you to wake up an hour earlier to exercise. It can't insist you meditate instead of medicate. In fact, big drug companies prefer you medicate. But all that can change – or at least shift – whenever you decide. And while we're talking personal change vs. social change, here are three healthy lifestyle laws I'd like to see the next administration pass in their first 90 minutes: free bicycles, incentives for alternative energy and a national driving test."

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