Our personal epidemic

In a world where editorials concentrate on global issues and cannot wean themselves away from the big picture what is given short shrift is the individual and his condition, often as precarious and fragile as that of the planet he lives on. In the daily maelstrom of politics, wars, strife, hunger, poverty and injustice not to mention generous dollops of negativity from a bruised Mother Nature we seem to have lost a certain perspective in that subjects concerning our health and our mental well being are now sidelines to the lighter end of the spectrum and not equated in importance with terrorism, insurgency, violence and the whole package of 
modern living.

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Published: Sun 31 Oct 2010, 9:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:49 PM

Ironically, the state of the individual is directly connected to the state of the nation and the state of the world but as more of us inch towards the darkness of our own abyss we completely fail to realise that health is the single largest factor in the bottom line of a nation’s economy and its investment in a future generation. Never has the age factor for certain ailments dropped so low in this stress era, as one calls it. We hear of cardiac problems in the young, of diabetes almost reaching pandemic levels, of tension and stress creating a multi-billion dollar loss to the exchequer and of an unwell world where pollution, despair and worry make the horsemen of the apocalypse look markedly tame in comparison. Even when we look at our own lifestyle the dangers are obvious yet we duck them. Perhaps it is time for all of us to slow down and stop being so constantly on the move. As Plato once said of repose that it is the most creative state of mind we seem to have no time for it. Why have a garden if you cannot stop to smell the roses.

Even as the world becomes more sick more swiftly there is no recognition that this is going to impact on our planet dramatically because the cost of looking after millions of young, unwell people is going to bleed the coffers more rapidly than the cost of weaponry for armies, more than the outlay for major industrial projects and certainly more than the cost of feeding and slaking the thirst of six billion people.

The last is paradoxical because almost the same amount is spent in inducing the overweight and obese to reduce their intake than is spent in growing, harvesting and retailing food products. It is a sobering thought that obesity is now shifted from the realm of the prosperous to that of the ailing and brings with it over 400 other problems that cost more money to deal with…do you see where the spiral is a going…we are losing the battle against ourselves.

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