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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Is Wellness a Luxury?

I was on the website, huffingtonpost.com and i came across this article and it made me pause and think about this title. Even the fact that wellness could be a luxury issue is concerning. It goes back to how expensive the foods we purchase are and how difficult it has come for us to take care of ourselves. Wellness, as part of the health care debate, should be something that is offered to all citizens, regardless of where we reside. She speaks to these three factors (where you live, price and ethnicity/race) that impact on wellness.

In the following paragraphs, Ms.Pooja R. Mootl expands on these factors...

Where you live matters:
If you can't get it, you can't eat it! Being able to get your hands on fresh, nutritious food is harder for some urban and rural populations than it is for the rest. In her campaign to make American children live healthier, Michelle Obama discusses access as it relates to "food deserts" where a lot of inner city kids as well as those from rural America don't have supermarkets within reach - only fast food restaurants and bodegas. Manhattan's Borough President, Scott Stringer is also trying to address this problem in a major way through a new initiative based on the report, FoodNYC, that aims to promote urban agriculture and regional food production. Moreover, studies have shown that obesity rates can actually be predicted by zip code.

Price Matters.
Even if you can get your hands on it, can you afford it? Research has shown that nutrient-deplete foods average around $1.76 per 1,000 calories versus healthy, nutrient-rich foods which can average nearly 10 times more than that. If you can buy an entire lunch meal at a fast food restaurant for $1 versus a head of organic broccoli for more than $3, eating for your wellness becomes a pretty tough decision. Healthy foods simply cost more. And, unfortunately, vegetables and fruits are becoming luxury goods for many. So its not surprising that scientists find the highest rates of obesity among people in lower income groups.

Ethnicity and Race Matters
In a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin noted in her Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, that many racial and ethic groups in our country are disproportionately affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity. Her report states that among 40 to 59-year-old women, about 52 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 47 percent of Hispanics are obese versus 36 percent for non-Hispanic whites. And in the super popular, academy award nominated documentary, Food Inc., it's noted that according to the CDC, 50 percent of American minorities born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes in their lifetimes as opposed to about 33 percent for non-minority groups.

Some of Ms. Pooja's ideas are well noted and again it is an urgent discussion we should continue to have until EFFECTIVE AND APPROPRIATE CHANGES are made that impact all of us FAIRLY. Wellness should not be a luxury, it is necessity. To look at her complete article and for further interested reading, check out this website... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pooja-r-mottl/has-wellness-become-a-lux_b_479685.html.

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