Are we Attacking the Wrong End?

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Are we attacking the Wrong End?

 I was listening to an enlightening interview the other day with Sally Symonds and she got me thinking of a number of things in our world today. She quoted two statistics that I will share. The first is that 80% of people presenting with medical issues come from life-style related diseases. The other stat, is that within a very short time span (I believe she said 10 years, but I may be wrong) that over 80% of our population will be obese.

Now at times we let statistics like these wash over us, but I remember recently reading about the increasing costs of health care and that in the foreseeable future, costs for healthcare will increase by 35% year on year. The government were using these figures to justify a harder line approach to costs and expenses, especially in relation to salaries paid to nurses. Or the alternative is to increase taxes…and no-one wants that.

So…..are we attacking the wrong end.

We seem to be tackling the END RESULT of the lifestyle choices that we make. The bad habits that we make in terms of nutrition and recreation. We smoke too much, we drink too much and we do drugs too much. AND we expect the government to pay for the associated and almost certain, health care costs with it.

We call governments who attempt to tackle these issues with increased regulation, a “nanny state” and we bemoan the reduction of our abilities as human to “choose”. “Its my choice and what’s it got to do with you?” is a common theme we hear. When we see the rate of increased costs, I think it has a lot to do with everyone.

Choice is a big thing for all of us, and we all have the right to choose. When we participate in risky activities or theme parks, we are often asked to sign disclaimers. Many of the lifestyle choices are just as risky, yet where are our disclaimers?

Many in the world work hard at inspiring magic amongst people, bringing people to life and educating and motivating people to make the right choice. To get someone’s mind and motivation right is a game-changing experience and we need support to do this. When people are offered insight and education, they will continue to make the right choice.

We have it wrong. Healthy options are often more expensive than cheaper options. Personal growth programs are often seen as unnecessary as many believe learning finished when they leave school.

We have it wrong! By attempting to squeeze costs in a burgeoning area of medical needs, we have the priorities wrong. We need to channel our efforts into educating people and if poor choices remain,  we need to instill a greater emphasis on a user pays, either through greater taxation or other means. But we need to instill greater incentives for education first. And programs that work, in ensuring people make better choices.

With anything, if you want to change the world, you need to change yourself. Mass movements don’t start with the masses, so influence a friend. Lets make this happen and as our collective grows, so will influence on more and more people.People make choices, lets make the environment for them to make the best choices.

Until then, we have it wrong.

Tony Curl

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Tony Curl

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