What is our society doing to promote healthy living?
This is a Federal Election year. What are the key issues for our political parties and Australians? What do you hear every time you listen to a news item pertaining to this? Economics? Cost of living? Taxes? Superannuation? How inefficient the other parties, their leaders and other key personnel are?
Isn’t it interesting?
Have you heard anything about policies that will be implemented to help improve Australian Health and Wellbeing? No, neither have I.
Interestingly, two weeks ago, via their websites (enthusiastically inviting comment) I emailed the local candidates of both major parties asking what their policies were in relation to health and wellbeing and developing infrastructure that would assist individuals and groups to be physically active.
I have received no reply from either party.
What does this mean? It means that the party spin doctors have put their heads together and decided that this is not an important election issue. No one cares that we have one of the healthiest economies in the world – for one of the most overweight nations in the world.
How long can one of the healthiest economies in the world continue to support a health system that spends billions of dollars every year treating diseases of physical inactivity? Private health fund fees continue to climb through the roof and our public hospital system has a waiting list as long as your arm.
What are we doing to promote good health? Everywhere I look I see fast food outlets pedalling their wares of high fat and sugar. I see bottle shops, billboards and slick alcohol advertising by the truck load. Didn’t we ban tobacco advertising years ago? Oh, that’s right, alcohol consumption doesn’t kill us and is not a burden to our health system like cigarette smoking did.
I see recently that the taxpayer has paid umpteen million on a campaign to change the food labelling system. What a great idea – to make food labelling clear and simple warning about how much sugar and fat is in that particular item. Wrong. We have changed the food labelling system to say how much of the item Australian product is. That’s great – I have never seen ‘Made in Australia’ on labelling before. Is sarcasm good for your health…?
There is a fair bit of talk about how unhealthy we are. The statistics seem to back it up. However, we seem to be happy with the state of affairs. We do not seem to want to do anything about it. The powers that be also seem to not be interested in making our poor health a top priority.
How much money would we save if we did more to promote healthy living? It’s a complex problem I hear you say. True; but we have to start somewhere and we have to start now before it’s too late.
Obesity is at epidemic proportions. Type 2 Diabetes is out through the roof. Diseases of physical inactivity, too many to mention, litter our health system.
Here’s an idea. Let’s pull out all stops and promote physical activity and healthy living. Let’s live dangerously and spend some money doing that. Let’s provide a subsidy or some incentives to help people follow a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that the cost of providing incentives for people to lead a healthy lifestyle would be so much less than what we are currently haemorrhaging from our health system in order to treat diseases of physical inactivity.
I choose a healthy, happy, positive lifestyle. What do you choose?
B. Ed (HPE); Grad Dip Sports Science
Health, Fitness and Physical Education
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