The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Al Gore will appear Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Where I live that will be 10 am. I’ve already got my TIVO set to record the program.

US veterans seem to be taking a particularly hard hit these days. In May, 26 million vets were put at risk of identity theft when a computer disk containing their personal information was stolen. Now, 22,000 may have been given prostate biopsies with improperly sterilized equipment. What an awful situation. A prostate biopsy is no fun to begin with, but receiving a letter warning that you have possibly been exposed to AIDS or hepatitis just makes an unpleasant situation exponentially more unpleasant. I know people who wish they never had a prostate biopsy. Sometimes they are unnecessary. And a snafu like this does nothing to enhance the image of a medical establishment that sometimes seems too eager to resort to the knife, that often makes mistakes, and frequently just can’t seem to get it right. And of course our veterans deserve better treatment.

Some people have been critical of an FDA report suggesting that restaurants should offer healthier foods, smaller portions, etc. But with our nation’s CHILDREN now being prescribed statin drugs to combat high cholesterol, something should be done. You can talk about personal responsibility all you want, but what about the large corporations? Albert Einstein has said, “If a visitor should come to this country from another planet, would he not find it strange that in this country so much power is permitted to private corporations without their having commensurate responsibility?” I find that strange and wrong. As I recall, Marion Nestle, in her book Food Politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health, has a good discussion of some of these issues. For me, if healthy food choices were given a louder voice alongside that of less healthy food choices, that would go a long way toward balancing the scales in this country, both morally and nutritionally. As long as the only voice we hear is advising us to make unhealthy food choices, we’re never going to stop the epidemic of obesity. Our health care system will continue to be strained in trying to cope with the consequences of these unhealthy food choices, and in the end we all have to pay.


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2 Comments:

  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger Debra said…

    I've written a few times on how the American public will not eat healthy food, even when given the choice. Many restaurants have tried to put low calorie food on their menu, but people don't order it and they end up throwing a lot of food away (homeless shelters anyone?). It is a sad state of affairs, but those are the choices people make. Look at cigarettes. Soon it will be illegal and they will have just created a new class of criminals. Just because you know that you should make a good choice, doesn't mean you will.

    When I was in practice, I would recommend fruits and vegetables all the time, just add some color to your diet. I heard more excuses, people just weren't ready. All they wanted was a pill or the magic point to make them lose weight and drop their cholesterol. They wouldn't exercise or change their diet.

    I'm on my way to do a consult for someone with a sleeping disorder. He's swallowing melatonin and getting some relief, but he won't change his diet or exercise schedule. He is unwilling to get the sunlight I recommend to help reset his body clock. Would rather take a pill or formula than change his habits.

    Very frustrating.

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Ed Bremson said…

    Well, you're right Debra. I don't have a problem with anything I've read from you, here or earlier. I do think, however, that the food industry, just like the drug industry in recent years, has carte blanche to brainwash the public, and the health food industry, for example, has precious little resources to get their message out. However, as long as we have TV programs like The King of Queens, which glorify overeating and poor food choices, we will continue to have this problem. It just seems like the cards are stacked against healthy eating, and I don't think they should be. Education should remedy all that. Let us hope it does.

     

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