A recent article in a popular women’s magazine detailed the emotional struggle a mother faced when advised by her doctor to place her young daughter on a diet. Yes, you read that correctly.
The child’s weight had been climbing steadily for a couple of years, despite the mother’s efforts to feed her daughter a healthy diet supplemented by the occasional treat. Finally, the feared diagnosis was made. At that point, the mother felt she had no choice. Her daughter’s pediatrician made it clear that, if left untreated, the child’s excess weight could cause a host of serious medical issues down the road and quite possibly for the rest of her life.
The recommended diet was strict in the number of calories allowed daily, though not at all harmful to the child’s health. However, it meant that in general, typical treats like cake, ice cream, pizza and even starchy foods like potatoes were off limits.
The mother constantly had to remind herself of the doctor’s words – that allowing her daughter to remain overweight at a young age would ultimately cause more harm long term. Indeed, failing to take care of our health on any level can lead to the development of a number of serious medical conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and even cancer.
Yet, despite a booming diet product industry and increasing awareness of how seriously our weight can affect our health, an attitude of apathy, defeat and even defensiveness has been adopted by many Americans in regard to the terms “overweight” and “obese.”
Preventive measures are, in general, neglected by far too many Americans. This is a travesty when the life saving potential of tests like, say, a mammogram or colonoscopy is taken into account. Health care reform legislation set out to change this trend by designating that certain preventive health care services be administered free of charge to insurance holders.
When you think about it, neglecting to take advantage of the new law (political preferences aside) and taking risks with your health that could end up being fatal is utterly senseless. Further compounding the issue is the cost factor; medical costs tend to rise for the overall population as more people are diagnosed with serious conditions that place a financial burden on the health care system.
If the cost of health insurance has been a concern for you in the past and kept you from seeking it out, we encourage you to reconsider. The majority of carriers makes it possible to find affordable health insurance that is still comprehensive.