I just got through reading an article recently about reasons for Americans being sicker than ever before. As many as one in five US adults and half the population over 65 have chronic health problems. It seems since 2000 we have been getting sicker at an alarming increase (rate). Some of these conditions are heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. There is also an increase in people who either cannot afford their medication(s) or had to delay treatment due to cost factors.
I don’t know if you notice this lately, but drug companies are constantly bombarding us with commercials on TV that let us know all the issues (problems) we “may” have. We need a pill to go to sleep, we need a pill to stop our legs from shaking, we need a pill to help our sex lives, etc., etc. It brings up the question, which came first the egg or the chicken? Are some of the increases in healthcare conditions brought on by direct advertising of what “might be wrong with us?”
I am pretty healthy for my age and have exercised routinely my entire life. I eat well (watch what I eat) and try to do without beer and pizza (at least most of the time). My motto has always been moderation. Yet I have noticed an increase in the amount of people that are overweight. I remember a few years back when I was at a trade show at Disney World and I had two of my kids in tow. I started noticing that not only were adults (a large percentage) overweight, but the kids also. The CDC does not consider overweight to be a health condition in itself, but it seems obvious that it is related to a lot of other conditions (heart disease, diabetes, etc.).
Maybe it is the lack of exercise and the fact that people are more sedentary these days. We have kids watching TV or on computers playing games (not out playing baseball like I did) and we have adults who have hectic lives and routinely visit fast food restaurants for their convenience factor. We also have a large portion of the population in the US (baby boomers) hitting Medicare age and living longer. Anyway you spin it though it adds up to a trend that leads to increases in health problems. How do we change the way we do business in healthcare to cover the increased needs of a population that is growing (in more ways than one) and who looks to be one of the sickest on record?