As I was reading the paper this morning, it occurred to me that most of us have meaningless lives that we try to fill with things that make us feel good or at a minimum allow us to escape the meaninglessness of the moment. We use food, cigarettes and drugs to give meaning to our lives and as a nation it is killing us. These diseases of lifestyle are killing 36 million Americans every year. As I was traveling the highways and byways to the four corners of our nation one of the most prominent thoughts that came jumping out was the number of overweight people. I will let the article speak for itself but it is refreshing to see the medical authorities put the onus on the individual that has the disease of lifestyles.
The saddest part is that the escape into addictive drugs does not seem to affect the professional with disposable income as much as it does the uneducated middlemen and women that connect them to the cartels of the world. They often are attempting to support habits of their own and when they become dysfunctional then they are sent to fill the jails and prisons of the nation.
We have not even touched on the slaughter that is going on in Mexico and the Caribbean among those trying to meet the insatiable demands of the USA. Well over 30,000 men, women and children have been murdered in the competition over the last decade. All to fill the emptiness of meaningless lives in the USA.
First of two parts.
For decades, global health leaders have focused on diseases that can spread – AIDS, tuberculosis, new flu bugs. They pushed for vaccines, better treatments and other ways to control germs that were only a plane ride away from seeding outbreaks anywhere in the world.
Now they are turning to a new set of culprits causing what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls “a public health emergency in slow motion.” This time, germs aren’t the target: We are, along with our bad habits like smoking, overeating and too little exercise.
Next week, the U.N. General Assembly will hold its first summit on chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease. Those account for nearly two-thirds of deaths worldwide and nearly 9 out of 10 in the United States. They have common risk factors, such as smoking and sedentary lifestyles, and many are preventable.