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Have It Your Way?

September 18, 2009 | NeW Staff

     You can have it your way.

Burger King pretty much summed up the attitude of modern American culture. If you want it, you can have it—and should have it. A mortgage you can’t afford, a no-fault divorce, or a Whopper with cheese.

I’d argue that our financial crisis, high divorce rates, and even a decline in health are a consequence of this rationale. We need to acknowledge that a “right” and a “wrong” exist.

Let’s examine our health, as the health care debate continues to dominate the agenda. The “have it your way” indulgence attitude has resulted in a generation that may, for the first time in our history, not live longer lives than their parents. Why? Obesity. Obesity causes Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and increases the risk of cancer, among other things.

Weight-related diseases are also causing a huge burden on the health care system.

“One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.” –Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food.

Check out his article Big Food vs. Big Insurance

We spend $147 billion to treat obesity and $116 billion to treat diabetes. So in this debate about health care, why aren’t more people calling for personal responsibility in health?

Because personal responsibility just isn’t popular. No one likes to be told they are wrong. Bailing out the banks is easier than telling people they can’t buy that expensive home in the first place. Opting for the no-fault divorce is a lot simpler than working through the marriage. And a hot, greasy Whopper for dinner is tastier than spinach salad.

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