Given all our scientific advancement, we could almost assume that we’re at the doorstep of disease-free living. Don’t new wonder drugs and high-tech surgeries perform miracles? Don’t we have the ability to wipe out diseases through new health breakthroughs and the discovery of cures? If that’s where your mindset is, you may be in for a rude surprise!
Four types of chronic disease – cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes – kill an estimated 153,000 Canadians every year, account for nearly three-quarters of all deaths in the country, and are the major causes of premature death and hospitalization.
The biggest killer is cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis), which has claimed the lives of untold thousands of Canadians, accounting for about 35% of all deaths. It gets no better from there. Cancer kills an estimated 62,600 Canadians annually, accounting for 29% of all deaths. And other chronic conditions disable many more Canadians.
So why are we still dealing with the effect rather than the cause? And why is everyone buying into this approach? Statistics give us an assessment of the state of our national health and quite frankly, they should scare us. If you’re one of the many that doesn’t take care of your health, you will become lumped into the above statistics sometime in the near future.
Can you really afford to ignore the basic laws of health operating in your body? Can you trust those who put food on supermarket shelves? We don’t have to be alarmist, but certainly reading the ingredient lists on your food shouldn’t be too much to ask when you go shopping. The average supermarket has 50,000 different foods, most of which come in bottles, boxes, bags, jars and cans. The modern food supply is booby-trapped with chemicals which challenge the body in all sorts of extremely dangerous ways. This type of food is manufactured for the busy person who believes it’s not worth the time or effort to make meals from scratch, or to simply eat more fruits and vegetables.
Eat well consistently and you could eliminate up to 80% of heart disease, up to 90% of diabetes and most cancers. This would dramatically improve our lives, the lives of our families and society. But considering the lifestyle of most North Americans, it leaves little doubt as to why so many people are overweight and unhealthy. Inactivity and improper eating are a deadly combination.
Obsessed with Food
Even though we have more information about what keeps us healthy than at any other time in history, we’re making almost no headway in the battle against disease. If you doubt that statement, check the statistics. Much of this comes from our obsession with extreme tastes, laziness, busy lifestyles or outright ignorance of health laws.
The message is clearly out about too much sugar, unhealthy fats, excess carbohydrates and too many chemicals. But as we drudge on with determination towards higher rates of obesity and chronic disease, our love affair with food is not only costing us, it’s killing us. Excuses are plentiful, but they offer no benefits.
We need to orchestrate effective action into our routines to offset an unhealthy lifestyle. The good news is that most chronic illness can be prevented by getting rid of risk factors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. Nothing else helps; everything else is hype. Forget the pill, the package and the easy promises. If you don’t work for it, it won’t work for you. And if you believe this wording is too harsh, then likely you’re not ready for a healthy change. That’s too bad because the cost, ultimately, will be a shortened life!