health

Healthier lifestyles are a solution to rising health care costs

Thursday, April 28, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: health care costs, lifestyle, health news

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(NaturalNews) Health care is expensive. Costs continue to mount despite recent efforts at health care "reform."

Sally C. Pipes, the president, CEO and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, argues in Forbes Magazine this week that the best way to lower costs is through expensive "medical innovation" (technology). Pipes claims that innovation alone will "minimize doctor visits, specialist referrals, round-the-clock care, trial-and-error surgeries" and other procedures in order "to deliver more value for less money in the long term."

It is true that less use of the health care system in general will reduce costs. But does that mean we'll actually be "healthy"? Innovation cannot make us healthier. The only way to achieve that is to live healthier lifestyles, and by doing so, we will all lower our own health care costs and, in turn, the nation's.

First lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, encourages that Americans should be eating better, and if we were, we'd be a lot healthier. Nutrition alone can save America, as NaturalNews.com's Mike Adams has stated: "cutting out the wrong foods, like those that are microwaved, fried or genetically modified and eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and a minimum of meat and animal products (including dairy foods), is a great start".

Preventative measures also contribute to overall wellness. Exercise and regular physical activity not only raises serotonin levels in the brain, which leads to feeling better as well as physical fitness and weight loss. One of best and most high-profile fitness campaigns going today is the NFL's Play 60 initiative, which targets young children and teens (okay, adults too) and encourages them to engage in a physical activity for at least an hour a day.

As a long-time supplement user, I can attest that vitamins, herbs and spices have improved my health. Herbs like Ginger, have been found to improve gastric function and reduce risk of atherosclerosis; a combination of other herbs and spices have been found to contain "more disease-fighting anti-oxidants that most fruits and vegetables," according to Fitness Magazine.

Even natural sunlight, in moderation, has a host of health benefits, as many researchers have discovered. Aside from being a great source of Vitamin D, which the Mayo Clinic says aids in the absorption of Calcium, which in turn protects you from osteoporosis, hypertension and several autoimmune diseases. According to Partners International Medical Aid, sunlight is also responsible for lowering cholesterol by as much as 30 percent.

But what about mammograms, C-T and MRI scans, and all other means of medical testing? Don't they serve to lower the costs of health care by keeping you healthier? As NaturalNews.com's Paul Louis wrote in November 2009, "medical devices can be hazardous to your health by overexposing you to higher health care costs as well as dangerous radiation levels". And while the government "has occupational limits for radiation exposure," he says, "here are no government restrictions on the amount of radiation exposure for medical testing." "Over-testing has been a worsening problem as well, which exposes patients to ever higher doses of radiation, thereby increasing their risk for cancer", Louis says.

And there is the cost factor; MRIs, for example, cost a couple thousand dollars each, on average. How is increased use of such technology supposed to make health care less expensive? Pipes says, "Reducing hospital stays is crucial to lowering health care costs." But accomplishing that goal using natural health solutions is a cheaper, quicker alternative to perpetuating an already expensive, expansive health care system. Innovation, while important, should not take precedence over proven low-cost alternatives aimed at preventing illness in the first place.

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