It ain’t pretty. The National Center for Health Statistics, part of The Centers for Disease and Prevention, recently released their annual report. Did I say it ain’t pretty? Actually, it’s down right ugly, and more than a little frustrating.
The good news is “we” are living longer (I use the term loosely, because I don’t think I am and I sure as hell hope I’m not part of the “average American” group). Our life expectency continues to climb, yet Americans can plan on spending their extra life under medical care. Life, yes. Quality of life…not so much.
Ten years ago 30% of adults were obese; today 67% of our adults are obese. Though the rate of obesity has fallen for 2-5 year olds (uhhh, should we even have to measure that?) the numbers are climbing for older children and teens.
We boast rates of 33% for hypertension and 12% for Type II/adult onset diabetes. Kids are presenting with more skin allergies, ADHD, and food allergies. Cholesterol levels are down, thanks to drug interventions, not lifestyle interventions.
And a pitiful 18.8% of adults report exercising. I’d have to guess that if any of those numbers were elevated in reporting it would be this one!
Two great lines I’ve heard lately:
We don’t have a health care crisis, we have a cultural crisis. (Circulating email that passed Snope-ing)
Our medical systems works well. Of course, it’s run by our insurance industry, so maybe that’s a little problematic. Or maybe it’s that we live in a culture that favors medical interventions when non-medical lifestyle changes would work better.
Improving health today is a spiritual problem calling for changes in behavior, not a medical problem looking for a scientific breakthrough. (Thomas Droege)
I know I’m not average. I am self-employed and, therefore, self-insured. According to the stats, the “insured” part makes me non-average. I pay $735/month for health insurance. I have pre-existing conditions on my policy. They consider me high risk because I go to the dermatologist regularly (I’m a blue eyed white woman in Florida; seems preventative for me), ride a bike, and do manual labor for much of my living. Hmm.
I don’t mean to be a pompous self-absorbed ass with a chip on my shoulder that thinks I’m better than the rest of the country.
But I guess I am. I don’t like the state of the union. And I’ll go to my grave (in another 50+ years?) fighting the norm.
Shout out to my gene pool: she picked up shot put, javelin, and other field sports at 74. I need a coach. If I get a head start maybe I can break a few records (?).