I had my follow up visit at Vassar Brothers today. I got a check up and was able to spend time with the man that saved my life, Doctor Rohit Shahani, who for awhile I thought was a spirit that appeared just to bail me out, turned out he is real, a genius wrapped in a shaman. More about that later.
Today I would like to talk about something else, the fact that we are killing our children, every day.
In America, 1 in 5 children are obese while 1 in 5 children go hungry. We have an epidemic of childhood hunger and childhood obesity, at the same time. W---T---F?
It is baffling to me that in this country we have one hungry child, let alone 20 million. The shame is that we have the tools. There are countless organizations addressing this problem, yet we are still falling short. Where are the gaps, what can we do to fill those?
As I listened to Doctor Shahani speak I started to think of how I can join his effort in saving people from heart disease. I thought to myself, while the doctors treat the disease, the rest of us can treat the cause. We can save more lives by treating the cause then any one surgeon can do in their lifetime by treating the disease, and besides, I’m far too old and far too confused by science to go to medical school now.
Childhood obesity will lead to heart disease. Overweight children can suffer from low self esteem and a myriad of other health issues. As if growing up in today’s world isn’t challenging enough, we are putting our children at a greater disadvantage when we take the easy way out. When we hit the drive thru, when we turn the TV on, when we look the other way.
The rationalizations of poor nutrition hold no water.
Too expensive? Nonsense.
We are surrounded by items in our grocery stores with no nutritional value whatsoever that find their way into our carts every week. We all can’t afford grass fed beef or organic fruit but this is not an all or nothing proposition. Just because you can’t buy a Heritage breed turkey that spent the last 10 months getting massages by candlelight doesn’t mean it’s time for a bag of Doritos washed down by a Diet Coke. We don’t need a calculator to determine that a can of tuna, glass of water and a apple would cost less than the soda and Doritos. And the daily cost savings is nothing compared to the long term savings of a healthy diet. Pay now or pay later. Heart attacks, if you survive, are not cheap. If you add up all the supposed savings you think are gaining by purchasing fast food or frozen pizzas and put that money into a savings account, you will still need a six-figure check to cover the bill if you or a loved one is struck with a heart issue down the line.
Not enough time. Nonsense.
Did you have to watch that episode of Friends for the 19th time? I didn’t think so, and be honest, Seasons 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 weren’t that good anyway. In that half hour you could have prepped tomorrow’s meals, made a grocery list and walked to the backyard to snag a squash from your garden to serve with dinner.
One of the goals of every generation should be to give the next generation the tools to improve on the success we have had. We have done a number of good things, but we can do better. This is an issue that won’t be solved in my lifetime, and that is ok, we need to think larger quantities than lifetimes.
Oh, every foe that ever I faced
The cause was there before we came
And every cause that ever I fought
I fought it full without regret or shame
The foe is heart disease. I have a lot to do in these first 100 days. I better get cracking.