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Old 02-07-2016, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,123 posts, read 9,424,685 times
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Just thinking out loud on a rainy cold Sunday:

It seems to me that we folks are rather evenly divided on how we view and manage our personal health:

First Group:

I'm gonna eat and drink whatever I want and maybe exercise--or not--and let the medical system fix me up if something goes wrong-- such as diabetes, heart disease, High blood pressure, cancer, etc. Because it's all about the genes anyhow and nothing I do much matters. And besides...I love my cheeseburgers, nachos, sodas, chips, wings fries, and pizza too much to quit. If I get too fat, I'll go on some diet or other until I lose the weight. A calorie from ice cream is the same as a calorie from broccoli.

Second Group:

I think much of my wellness is in my own hands so I'm gonna eat wisely--lots of veggies & fruits, whole grains, beans/legumes and exercise regularly. I trust the medical system to fix me if I break something or a major emergency happens...but meanwhile I'm gonna do my best to stay in great health through my lifestyle choices. Sure I've got genes but I can moderate them by what I do. I stay pretty trim by how I eat and don't really diet. A calorie from ice cream is not the same as a calorie from broccoli.

Of course, there are shades in between, but from the posts I see here, this seems to represent the two camps on wellness.

Do you think this kind of covers it?
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,698 posts, read 2,847,271 times
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I'm not sure I think we are evenly split. I think the first group still far outnumbers the second group. But, I think the second group is gaining lot of traction, thankfully.

I think the first group overestimates the ability of medicine and science to "fix" things after years of damaging one's body. Many of the things you mention can be managed, but not corrected.

I think you can have the health status you've described of the second group, but still enjoy access to the "sins" you outline in the first group, as long as you live most of your life in the second group and work hard to stay there.

I think many people in the first group think people in the second group are just lucky and don't see how much work they do to maintain their good health. I think many people in the second group think people in the first group are just lazy and don't factor in genetics and environment. I don't think either generalization is completely true.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:58 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I think it's probably 75:25 weighted towards the first group. Then again, I work in a hospital so my opinion is definitely skewed. A lady the other day said: "But I usually keep my blood sugar under 500! I don't understand what keeps happening". As she drinks a Mountain Dew. And her blood sugar is over 1000.

Then again that's most patients these days which is why they're here in the first place. And then they complain about the quality of healthcare.

(FYI even a BG of 500 is about 4 times what it should be)
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:13 AM
 
Location: In a house
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I think that here on CD there is also a very loud minority who buy into (and evangelize) the myriad of conspiracy theories:

"We are sick because Big Pharma I used to be able to eat drink smoke sex extreme-sport myself unconscious if I wanted to and thanks to a vaccine I had when I was 6 I now have a b c d e f g h and the doctors say it'll cost $500,000 to cure me/heal me/treat my sickness because I refuse to get insurance because it's just a scam to get you to pay for sickness you don't even have!!!!!!!! I will never trust the doctors or big pharma again I eat only raw vegan smoothies and take 400 supplements erry day I blame big pharma and doctors for forcing my mother to give me this vaccine that destroyed me. Oh yeah and I found a guy who will inject HCG drops to make me lose the 80 pounds I need to lose, as long as I promise to only eat 500 calories per day."

None of them attribute their bad health to an unhealthy lifestyle when they were young, or their parents raising them in an unhealthy lifestyle atmosphere (such as both parents chain-smoking in the house, mom making mac & cheese every day with fried chicken and lots of pie, buying the kids a TV for each bedroom and encouraging the kids to watch TV instead of shoving them outside to play, etc. etc. etc.) None of them attribute the exhorbitant cost of their medical needs to the fact that they created the needs in the first place and didn't take steps to reduce them before they were too far gone to treat efficiently.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Amongst the AZ Cactus
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OP, I'll try to balance out your cold rainy day perspective with one from a warm & sunny climate near 80 degrees.

I think we are largely a country of people with some pretty bad diet/lifestyle habits. Our rates of obesity, type II diabetes, heart attack, cancer, etc. are the results. Genes need to be "expressed" and science tells us in the vast majority of cases, it's our lifestyle that triggers the ugly genetic "expression" that goes on in our bodies. Case and point:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

"This year, more than 1 million Americans and more than 10 million people worldwide are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, a disease commonly believed to be preventable. Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle. The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity. The evidence indicates that of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25–30% are due to tobacco, as many as 30–35% are linked to diet, about 15–20% are due to infections, and the remaining percentage are due to other factors like radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants etc. Therefore, cancer prevention requires smoking cessation, increased ingestion of fruits and vegetables, moderate use of alcohol, caloric restriction, exercise, avoidance of direct exposure to sunlight, minimal meat consumption, use of whole grains, use of vaccinations, and regular check-ups. In this review, we present evidence that inflammation is the link between the agents/factors that cause cancer and the agents that prevent it. In addition, we provide evidence that cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes."

I think "First Group" is far in the lead because the vast majority of people want to keep their not so healthy lifestyle choices because they enjoy them and/or are addicted to them and change isn't easy for many. And more than a few in this group think the easy "fix" will save them.....give me the pill/procedure and I'll be as good as new with the "fix". And in the vast majority of cases, I think the underlying issue was never addressed on the level of true prevention, just a "bandage" was placed on it all. Or said problem just can't be fixed.

As for the "Second Group", they have the data/population studies behind them that show they have a decent chance of increasing/greatly increasing the odds of a healthier, perhaps longer life. I don't think that can be disputed by many studies, specific and broad based migration studies.....Group moves from overall healthy eating/lifestyle country A, adopts not so healthy diet/lifestyle of country B, and then majority of said group disease rate rises dramatically in a relatively short period of time to match that of new host country.

With that said, those in the "First Group" will often come out with "Well, I knew a Uncle Bill who ate the worst food, drank like a fish, was a nasty individual, and lived to 89 with no health issues".....or "Amy ate mostly vegetables, didn't drink, smoke, was thin, was the nicest person and died of a brain tumor at 39". Sure those things are possible and happen but I don't think this should be the takeaway......most of us aren't that lucky/unlucky as the vast majority of us exist in the middle of the bell curve where lifestyle choices/diet matters and will have an impact, often a very big impact, on our life quality and quantity.

I don't know if the "Second group" is gaining in strength as just by one indicator, obesity and the health issues that arise because of it, it seems to always be on an upward trend in the US and in many other places in the world that adopt our overall poor eating habits. But I do have one observation of doing quite a bit of travel over the decades in this country and that is the US west/southwest seems to have many more "Second Group" type people than "First Group" as compared to much of the rest of the country. It's very, very noticeable overall to me, the difference in the number of people in/out of shape and their diet/lifestyle habits.

For myself? I figure I have one go round in life and I want to do everything I can do to increase the odds to make it the best quality I can. Is it guaranteed being a player of the "Second Group", that I or anyone else will succeed? Nope, no guarantees in life except the obvious, death. But do I have a greater/much greater odds of achieving my goal of quality and maybe a bit more quantity according to the vast amounts of data? And increase the likelihood of saving money and time by decreasing my odds of having to pop pills, do procedures, visiting Dr.'s, etc when I can be doing other things I enjoy in life far better? Yep, and that's good enough for me. True prevention, not treating symptoms.....an amazing thing to strive for/practice in my view.

In the end, to each their own. And I wouldn't define it all as a "divide". It's just a choice. And each of us should realize that with any set of choices in life, each choice comes with its own set of risks and rewards.

Last edited by stevek64; 02-07-2016 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,051 posts, read 32,742,081 times
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I think the death rate is currently 100 percent and that the vast majority of us are going to get sick and then eventually die - most people don't die in accidents, and most people don't live to be over about 85 or so, though of course there are exceptions.

That being said, life is also about quality, not just the number of days. Healthier lifestyles generally result in more years of healthy activity. But the end result is about the same regardless.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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stevek64...absolutely brilliant post, IMHO...I do believe we're doing some of the same reading/research..sure wish more folks would take charge of their health and feel better. So much unnecessary suffering...

KathrynAragon ...you're right -- the end result is the same...but personally, I hope, by maintaining some wise lifestyle choices through diet and exercise and meditation/yoga, to go out with a bang, rather than a whimper. And hooked up to some apparatus, on myriad meds, and after many procedures.

My healer and I are a team, with me being the Captain of My Health Ship. I can hardly expect someone else to care more about my wellness than me.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,051 posts, read 32,742,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
stevek64...absolutely brilliant post, IMHO...I do believe we're doing some of the same reading/research..sure wish more folks would take charge of their health and feel better. So much unnecessary suffering...

KathrynAragon ...you're right -- the end result is the same...but personally, I hope, by maintaining some wise lifestyle choices through diet and exercise and meditation/yoga, to go out with a bang, rather than a whimper. And hooked up to some apparatus, on myriad meds, and after many procedures.

My healer and I are a team, with me being the Captain of My Health Ship. I can hardly expect someone else to care more about my wellness than me.
I hope the same too. But unfortunately what I've seen in my own family doesn't really give me too much confidence in any one particular formula.

My mother is naturally slim, very active, never been a smoker or drinker, never did drugs, has kept prescription drugs to a minimum, and has always been a "health food junkie." Prior to age 65, she had absolutely zero health issues to her knowledge and had never been hospitalized for anything other than uncomplicated childbirth. Guess what - she had a major stroke at age 65 and has been pretty seriously impaired since then. Still - she continues to try to tweak her health regimen with all sorts of supplements, eating basically NOTHING processed - depriving herself actually of some very pleasant things that in moderation would be fine - things I know she loves, like for instance a slice of wedding cake or a bowl of ice cream. But the older and more disabled she becomes, the more she tries (unsuccessfully it seems) to curtail anything that might be "dangerous," such as just sitting down occasionally and enjoying the heck out of a big plate of buffalo wings and a beer!

Meanwhile, some of my crazy relatives drank, smoked, rarely exercised, and lived well into their 90s. And then we have my grandmother, who never smoked a single cigarette in her life, and who died of lung cancer.

Honestly, I understand the whole thing about remaining as active as possible, getting regular exercise, eating healthy foods, etc - and I do think it makes a big difference in how we feel day to day, which is important. But looking at my family history, I'd say it feels more like a crap shoot than anything else.

So personally, here's what I do: I eat healthy food about 75 percent of the time. I am blessed not to have to take any prescription drugs. I drink wine in moderation - usually 3-4 glasses a week. I don't smoke. I walk about 3 miles at a time, 2-3 times a week (I know I need to exercise more but in my defense I've had surgery on both Achilles tendons due to damage from a common antibiotic given to me for a bladder infection and that puts a damper on my ability to exercise regularly because I easily develop ligament and tendon issues with my feet).

I intend to enjoy life and that may include occasionally drinking too many martinis, or eating something really bad for me, or not exercising regularly. I may regret this one day, but meanwhile, I've had a lot of fun!
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:32 PM
 
5,072 posts, read 608,462 times
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I do basically agree with the OP's post, although, personally, I compromise between the two.

I am neither a "junk food junkie" nor a "health nut." I eat fast food an average of about once every two months, but I also eat plenty of fresh vegies. I do like and eat "comfort food" and "bad" desserts, but I don't overeat very often or by very much, although I do have to diet about every three years to lose the 20 pounds I've gained in that time -- but I have never let myself become obese. (I am 5'4", so I would always have to have a daily calorie intake of about 1,700 to maintain an ideal weight, and that is too much deprivation for me to keep it that low ALL the time.) I take two one-mile walks a day, on average, but I don't "work out".

And, btw, I am 62 years old and I am on NO medication, and my blood pressure averages about 110/70. (Last week it was 105/65.)
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,123 posts, read 9,424,685 times
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Sure sounds as my two nice posters above are doing their best to maintain their health. You're both mindful of your health. I'm with you..not a zealot in any way, shape or form.

I'll always cut myself a little slack, as you do, to have a fav indulgence when I'm called to do that....having a dish of ice cream every six months sure beats my "vegetarian" cousin who consumes several half gallons a week.

It's these little treats once in a while (like some really good dark chocolate) that keep me from going hog wild with any frequency. And helps us to savor life.
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