Monday, November 12, 2012

The True Cause of Rising Healthcare Costs

There is a lot of blaming going on lately over the rising costs of healthcare.  There have even been companies warning that a re-election of the President of the United States would make them lay off workers, cut employee hours, and raise their prices.  It's time to take a much closer look at the root cause of this situation.

The state of our health is severely declining in the United States.  More Americans now turn to fast food restaurants, super-sized portions, high sugar and high fat foods, and give in to clever but misleading marketing.  Paired with a low-level of activity, this type of lifestyle is a true recipe for a health disaster.  This has led to a rise in healthcare costs directly caused by a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from heart disease and failure, diabetes, complications from obesity, and high choleserol levels.

According to the CDC, the number of people on medications to treat diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure has risen dramatically in all states over the course of the last ten years. 
US Obesity Rates in 1994
US Obesity Rates in 2010


Take a look at these CDC images showing Obesity rates in 1994 on the left, and in 2010 on the right:

It's no surprise that the companies doing so well, making billions of dollars over the last ten years, whose eye-catching commercials and ads you see everywhere you go, are those SAME companies which cause obesity [and many other conditions] when you consume their products on a regular basis!

A lack of education on these issues from a young age as well as irresponsible greedy marketing on the part of manufacturers and restaurants --NOT the current executive administration-- have led us to the point in which we now find ourselves: with rising healthcare costs and the need for affordable care.  On the contrary, if Americans chose to live healthier lives and made better choices with their health, our President's administration perhaps would not have had to fight so hard for the issues concerning the Affordable Care act.  If we did not need the services, medications, and treatments so many Americans now receive, then why would they even have to be covered by insurance in the first place?  What came first, the Big Mac or Obese America? 

Now, the very companies which have CAUSED these health issues in Americans, are punishing those loyal customers and employees.  In the last week, Papa John's Pizza CEO John Schnatter announced that "Obamacare," properly identified as The Affordable Care Act will cause him to raise prices on his greasy, unhealthy foods as well as cut his employees hours.  Making no apologies for the irresponsible marketing, heart disease-causing foods, or the millions of dollars he has earned at your expense over the years.  He calls this a "lose-lose" situation. I call his food an absolute lose-lose poison.  << Don't pout over having to take care of your employees, this is what you've helped cause. >>

How many slices of pizza does the average person in the US eat?  One, Two? Four?  My friends, if you eat 3 little slices of Papa Johns Meats pizza, you are consuming 1,200 calories, 510 calories from fat, 120 mg of Cholesterol, and 3,300 mg of sodium (well over double the recommended daily value of sodium).  And that's not counting the wings, breadsticks, cheese or garlic sauce you may have on the side. (source: http://www.papajohns.com/menu/ni_pizzas.shtm#)

If it weren't for consumers pushing for proper labeling of food and nutrition facts, we wouldn't even have that information available to us.  Now, thankfully, some restaurants have been forced to provide caloric and nutrient information, however, don't think Mr. Papa John's was willing to do it at first.  Most of these restaurants spent millions on attorneys to fight having to reveal just how much fat and calories their foods contain.

Education is everything.  Educate yourself on what you are putting into your bodies because this wave of capitalistic greed in the Food and Restaurant industry has a VERY HIGH COST:  YOUR HEALTH.  The expense of healthcare is the last thing we should be focusing on right now.  Focus on your health and what you need to do to PREVENT ever needing the horrific emergency treatments caused by heart disease and diabetes.  This is not even touching the surface of the CANCER concerns caused by the preservatives in foods found at McDonalds and many other fast food restaurants--that's another issue altogether!

Some uninformed people have been posting their opinions online:  "I cannot boycott these companies, they are my favorite!"--"I love McDonalds fast food."--"But Petyton Manning likes Papa Johns, so I should too." Why does it take a heart attack to snap people into reality?  Maybe the Affordable Care act and rising healthcare costs for millionaires is the slap-in-the-face wake-up call we all needed.

I recommend a plant-based diet, incorporating more wholesome nutrients from organically, responsibly grown produce and grains, and a moderate-to-high level of exercise daily.  I want you to be healthy, happy, and balanced, not taken advantage of by greedy companies.  

Thank you for reading and considering your health!
~Karinna

Additional Sources:  United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/brfss
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/index.htm.

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