The first set of action steps will focus on health – perhaps the single best example of the disastrous influence that the macro-environment we live in today is having on our lives.
Poor health within developed nations has become so severe that it is starting to have some serious negative impacts on the highly vulnerable global economy. Almost 1 in every 5 American dollars are spent on healthcare nowadays and this number is still increasing. And the real kicker is that all of these massive costs are not helping to extend lifespans at all (shown below).
But the primary reason for the long series of health guidelines that will follow this post is that healthy people are simply a much smaller burden on planet Earth. Healthy lifestyle choices are almost always synonymous with sustainable lifestyle choices. In addition, people who take responsibility for looking after their own bodies are much more likely to also take responsibility for looking after their environment, their economy and their society.
As the following stats indicate, however, we still have a very long way to go. Firstly, as we all know, 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight while 1 in 3 is fully obese and these worrying numbers are still increasing. This is especially startling considering the fact that the amount of money Americans spend on diet and weight loss products is about the same as the combined economic output of the 20 poorest African countries. Aside from a crippled economy, the result (among many others) is soaring diabetes rates.
Diabetes is directly related to the number one killer in developed countries: heart disease. Thankfully, mortality rates from heart disease are declining, but only because doctors have had so much practice with it that they cannot really help getting better. The incidence of heart disease is still increasing though.
The above chart shows hospital discharge rates from the first (1st) and all subsequent incidences (2nd) of heart disease. Those rapidly rising dotted lines show that doctors are saving more and more people just so that they can come back another time.
These rising trends are especially startling when you consider that the world is gradually realizing that inhaling a blend of toxic chemicals at regular intervals throughout the day is actually bad for you:
Smoking is the single most destructive lifestyle habit there is, so how can smoking be declining and virtually all forms of degenerative disease be increasing? Well, here we come to the two primary topics that will be covered in this set of action steps: nutrition and fitness. Even though we are smoking less, our terribly unhealthy eating habits and our sedentary lifestyles have now taken over as the primary killers.
And yes, this is primarily due to the macro-environment we live in. Junk-food is all around us and our world is designed to spare us any form of physical exertion. Unfortunately, this will not change before we start putting “Junk-food kills” labels on all McDonald’s products. And since political action normally lags a few decades behind scientific fact as lobbyists and politicians play their highly unethical moneymaking games, it is up to you to create for yourself a micro-environment that will protect you from this toxic macro-environment.
We’ll start on that first thing tomorrow.