I like eating at least as much, if not more, than the next guy. Food has been my one constant companion since the day I was born, and I would sort hate the idea of giving up the habit of eating. I also have the type of appetite that is never satisfied. I can no sooner end one meal when I’m anxious to start the next. Of course, health and practicality considerations preclude me from this type of overeating, although I do overindulge from time to time.
I am not proud to admit that we buy a lot of our food at a local Wal-Mart. We go there to meet the high-class clientele the store attracts and for the wonderful ambience. Just kidding, of course, as both those factors are sadly lacking at any Wal-Mart store. The simple fact is that we shop there to save money. I have this thing about paying significantly higher prices for identical items at other food stores. I could afford to shop at other super-markets, but I can’t mentally get over the hurdle of paying a lot more for the identical box of cereal. We also shop at Trader Joe’s where prices are also relatively cheap, especially when compared to say, the upscale Whole Foods markets.
Which brings us to the topic of the foods we eat. When one is young he or she can eat virtually anything with little consequence . A young person can eat tupperware without feeling ill effects. Of course there are always those, even in youth, that have a weight problem, and trying to keep their weight under control is a constant and ongoing battle to almost the day they die. So it was with me. With my prodigious appetite, I constantly fought a mostly losing battle of the bulge. My weight would go up and down continually, the good old yo-yo effect. Then about 3 years ago I made a few changes, and started working out more intensely in the gym, and my weight came down almost 25 pounds, and thus far has stayed off. I won’t go into the myriad of psychological and other reasons for obesity, but for some people it’s a war they can never win.
Which brings us to the health considerations of our food choices. When one ages, his or her food choices start becoming more and more limited. That is, if they desire to stay healthy and maintain a decent quality of life. For example, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and other medical groups have put out numerous studies that show that cancers grow much more rapidly when fed by sugar intakes. Cancer loves sugar, and cancer cells metabolize sugar intake at 8 times the rate that normal cells do. Everyone, at any one time, has cancer cells in their body according to what these studies show. Usually, the body’s immune system fights off these cancer cells, but the immune system starts to weaken the older one gets. That’s why the leading cause of cancer is not smoking or obesity, it’s getting old. If you live long enough, you have a 50% chance of developing cancer. But as I’ve said, nothing abets the proliferation of cancer cells in the body like sugar, which also is a leading factor in other diseases such as diabetes and gout. Yet Americans love sugar, and the yearly intake of sugar for most people is often enormous. About a year ago, the Wal-Mart I mentioned that we shopped at, redecorated the store. As part of that effort, they expanded the size of the area that contains bakery products while reducing the area that contains fruits and vegetables. Of course, everyone knows we’re not getting enough white flour, sugar and trans-fats into our diets. It’s all those fruits and vegetables that keep screwing everything up.
Which brings us to the topic of the rising costs of health care. When the Democrats finally passed the frankenstein known as Obamacare, one of the predictions made was that new law would help reduce soaring medical costs. What nonsense. Of course medical costs will continue to increase rapidly as the population grows, as people live longer, and as new, highly expensive drugs and therapies are developed. But there is one way to dramatically lower the cost of health care, and that would be to force people to live healthier life-styles. Yes, I said force, similar to the way the Government forces you to pay income taxes. This would include a total ban on smoking, and requirements that people, for the most part, give up refined sugars, refined grains, and saturated and trans-fats. A requirement to eat more seafood and only lean, low-fat meats, and fruits and vegetables. And a requirement for everyone to have a daily and fairly rigorous exercise regimen. But you can already hear the screams and howls of protest if such requirements were foisted off on the populace.
I mean what would the crowd do that likes to chow down on bacon-cheeseburgers with fries, or pepperoni pizza, topped off with a hot-fudge sundae or two. To say nothing of the estimated 24 million Americans that still smoke. (You seem to see most of these smokers in Las Vegas casinos, where they’re puffing away as they keep shoveling more money into the slot machines.) As it is not likely that anyone, or any governing body, will be able to dissuade people away from their dysfunctional life-styles, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. In the meantime, we all pay the price in higher medical bills and higher insurance rates.