Bloomberg rated the world’s three healthiest nations as Spain, because of its public and preventative health care and the Mediterranean diet, Italy, and Iceland.
The United States dropped one place to #35.
I was disappointed by the U.S. placing, yet, I was not surprised. Anyone with eyes can see the state of American wellness. Obesity, obvious disabilities, plus non-visible diseases seem to thrive in our country of abundance.
I have high cholesterol, and I don’t want to take medication. The doctor told me fast food, pastries, saturated fat, coffee, cheese, eggs, sugar, meat, alcohol, shrimp, and dairy, make the no-eat list. If it has a mom, it has cholesterol. If it doesn’t have a mom, it can still contribute to plaque in arteries.
A friend of mine had the diabetes scare, so she gave up sugar. She was then diagnosed with acid reflux and gave up coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. The doctor then discovered GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) and pre-cancerous Barrett’s esophagus. Even with medication, diet, and surgery, she was advised to also eliminate wheat, dairy, and eggs because she still had symptoms and the doctor suspected allergies.
It takes knowledge plus rock-solid commitment to be physically healthy, and we could still catch something nasty, but our odds would be improved. Success in maintaining a healthy body, as with any goal, involves a lot of hard work. Just ask an athlete. And, anyone who believes physical health does not affect mental health, has not been sick.
For two weeks, I have limited my cholesterol to under 100 mg a day. It seems my future is oatmeal, hummus, and vegetables. I whine, a lot, but I’m feeling proud of myself. Good health is worthy of anything within my power, and if my food choices could help, I’m on it.
If everyone could decide to make healthy changes, maybe the #35 U.S. status could improve. We might click into our competitiveness, and strive to win the first place position ahead of Spain. I don’t know how a country learns or earns the distinction the healthiest nation, but it’s obviously possible.
Colorado is the healthiest state. Maybe as an individual, family, school, or community we could develop incentives for kids and adults to eat colorful rather than comfort food, walk more steps, or moderate addictive habits.
Positive change happens with baby steps. One person can make a difference. If I adopt healthy habits, it benefits me, my family, and anyone paying attention. If my friend and I can do it, YOU can too.
In March of 2020, let’s all look back with satisfaction and say, “Hallelujah, I did my part to make America Healthy Again!”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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