Sunday, November 29, 2009


Or , sorry that 's an opener, taking care of Health Care . This subject has been looming and it'll hit a head as it's potential improvement (or NOT) gets voted on by the Senate this week . There's alot of debate about the now called , Public Option , which has been renamed and covers those unable to get health coverage . How it'll work or whether it'll work is under debate ,... and depending how the question gets asked whether the public at large understands the importance of the option ??

What seems really misunderstood is that every year thousands of people are dying due to lack of any health care coverage . They have NO choice , NO option currently . If you need further prompting go to to days NY Times and read Nicholas D. Kristof's  article 'Are We Going To Let  John Die ?' . Note the figure he quotes as Americans dying each year from NO health care is.... 45,0000.  For a further read on the health care debate go to .

I was reading these various articles thinking why aren't we encouraging people to EAT better ?
The then came across Melanie Warner"s article in the Business section today (SUNDAY) on the program initiated by Zoe Finch Totten called Full Yield which looks to offer cafeterias of large businesses better /healthier options for Lunch . With added benefits and adding incentives for employees to eat better and perhaps lose weight , also exercise more a healthier work force is being seen as a benefit , both as less of a strain on company health insurances and improved wellness... "adding things to your life and feeling better psychologically and physically ...." Sounds good !?  

My query is why we aren't looking at this issue from a larger perspective and with the Full Yield approach encouraging more people to EAT well . We're bogged down in the notion of choice and which plan we choose when we're sick ... NOT improving our life style choices so we might NOT get sick ? WE're also engaged in producing so much UNHEALTHY food and pumping vast quantities of anti-biotics into animals in the production of Meat , we are producing super strains of Bacteria which lead to other health issues ,....  

Sustainable food production seems as important as what insurer to choose for Health Care ? If we are constantly feeding ourselves less nutritious foods and exercising less we're going to be sicker MORE often. AND we could afford NOT letting John die , by being healthier as a whole. BUT we're not taught to think of the whole ... it's MY choice , MY right .... 

Which funnily enough brings us on to Micheal Sendel's new book : JUSTICE "what's the right thing to do ?" (a profressor of Govt' at Harvard ) which looks at how politics and a certain preception of justice effect policy . There's coverage of theories of justice as well as honed explainations of the ideas of Aristotle/ Bentham/Kant/ Mill and Rawls . I quote the book review " virtuosic untangling of Kant's notorious knots , in under 40 pages ."

There's something truly strange when a society can allow a large part of it's populace to dye due to not being 'cared for ' and yet almost simultaneously preach value of life and sanctity of that life BUT allow such an injustice to prevail ? As though those dying had made that CHOICE.

There's a larger examination here and one which we ALL need to start looking at if we are going to really work on fixing the Economy , our Education system , the Financial institutions , the Mortgage rate , the Car Industry , the HealthCare System , the Energy Crisis which is what defines a healthy, fulfilled life and HOW we support that life ( or NOT ) ?

I think we need to take a much more creative approach to many of these issues which are so inter connected yet we keep treating the symptoms not looking at what produced the condition
They're big issues but if you really care you might start by making the choice about your next meal ?  And yes so close after Thanksgiving and just before the next major Holiday season ,....

Its akin to making art you first have to start asking why you might be making a piece of art ?
Then how ,....

When it hits home it starts to feel real when you start connecting you begin to see the me in them and perhaps start to relate to the WHOLE ?

But thats another topic .

later SD


Lisa said...

I totally agree with you. In all the talk about health care, politicians are talking about how to treat the sick, not how to prevent people from getting sick. It shows how much of a stranglehold industry has on politicians. The lobiests for big business have more of a say about how Americans are treated than we do. Programs should be put in place and money should be spent on creating a healthier society not trying to save us when we're sick because we stuff ourselves with unhealthy processed 'food' items.

Christopher said...

Agreed. The question, Do health care savings start in the cafeteria, is something the International Labor Organization asked in 2005 and indeed answered in a 450-page book titled "Food at Work: Workplace solutions for malnutrition, obesity and chronic disease." The answer is yes.

Every country is embracing this except America, where unions laughed at me when I approached them for an interview.

The book, largely academic with 50 case studies, is now finally free at

-christopher wanjek, author

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